About the Speaker
Associate Professor Sean Turnell, Special Economic Consultant to Myanmar’s State Counsellor; Director of Research, Myanmar Development Institute (MDI), Naypytaw; and Associate Professor, Macquarie University, Sydney
About the Webinar
The rise of mobile phone-based financial services brings with it the promise of economic inclusion on an unprecedented scale. This is especially true in countries, such as Myanmar, where banking and finance have historically been the vehicles for monopoly rents, and the systemic core of a political economy of restricted access and control. Mobile financial services, partly as delivered and fairly as extrapolated, offer the channels for the aggregation and allocation of capital, the smoothing of consumption, and the potential basis both for the regularisation of economic life, and some protection against its vicissitudes. This paper explores the beginnings of mobile financial services in Myanmar, their dramatic expansion since the country’s (albeit, incomplete) political transformation, the state of play of the sector, and the issues and obstacles it faces. The paper concludes by exploring future extensions and possibilities of what beckons as a genuine revolution in Myanmar’s financial and economic affairs.