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Myanmar’s Foreign Exchange Market

Controls, Reforms, and Informal Market

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Is the first academic book based on long-term records and extensive fieldwork that unveils functioning of the complex foreign exchange systems in Myanmar
  • Elucidate trajectory of the chaotic but seemingly efficient foreign exchange market and persistence of informal currency deals
  • Serves as an essential reference for researchers interested in foreign exchange policy reforms of fragile states

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About this book

This is the first book dedicated to the scrutinization of Myanmar's unofficial foreign exchange market, its roots in restrictive administrative controls on foreign exchange and international trade, and its effects on the country’s economic performance. This book integrates vast pieces of records and data with first-hand information from extensive fieldwork to create an overall picture of the chaotic but seemingly efficient foreign exchange market in Myanmar, a transitional economy in Southeast Asia whose economic systems had been less known due to its isolation until recently.  This book illustrates how the unofficial foreign exchange market emerged during the country’s transition to a market-based economy, how informal currency deals proliferated under restrictive controls, and why they persist despite the significant economic reforms since 2011. Refuting the conventional wisdom of foreign exchange policy reforms, this research clarifies path-dependent features of foreign exchange market systems, and it discusses possible solutions for modernizing economic systems. This book is highly recommended to readers who seek an in-depth analytical narrative about informal economic activities and foreign exchange policy reforms in a fragile state.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


“The book is a great read for those who would like to understand how Myanmar’s unique foreign exchange market has emerged from successive governments’ economic policies.” (Sandar Win, ASEAS (UK),, October 3, 2019)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO), Chiba, Japan

    Koji Kubo

About the author

Koji Kubo is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO). Earlier drafts of this book were written while he was affiliated with the JETRO Bangkok Office as a researcher and with the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand as a visiting researcher. He has a Ph.D. in international public policy from Osaka University and degrees from Kyoto University and the University of Sussex.

Dr. Kubo's research focuses on the evolution of economic institutions in Myanmar. His analyses of the Myanmar economy have appeared in the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, and Post-Communist Economies. He is the editor of Dollarization and De-dollarization in Transitional Economies of Southeast Asia (2017).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Myanmar’s Foreign Exchange Market

  • Book Subtitle: Controls, Reforms, and Informal Market

  • Authors: Koji Kubo

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: IDE-JETRO 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-13-1788-0Published: 10 October 2018

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-13-4685-9Published: 01 February 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-13-1789-7Published: 27 September 2018

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 126

  • Number of Illustrations: 20 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Development Economics, Asian Economics, Development Finance, Trade

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