Reforming Myanmar "urgently" needs to attract investments to its energy sector, which has left three-quarters of
the population in the dark, dpa cited the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as saying Thursday.
In a report released at the World Economic Forum, being held for the first time in Myanmar, the ADB identified Myanmar's energy sector as one of the most pressing economic challenges for the country which is on the cusp of rapid growth.
The report said that nearly three-quarters of Myanmar's population of 60 million lack access to electricity.
In rural areas, where 70 per cent of the population lives, the average rate of electrification is 16 per cent, limiting access to health services, jobs and economic development, the bank said.
Myanmar has abundant natural gas reserves, which earn the country an estimated 2.5 billion dollars a year from exports to neighbouring, Thailand.
Yet its installed electricity generating capacity is only 3,361 megawatts (MW), compared with Thailand's 26,000 MW, according to ADBdata.
"To develop the country's rapidly growing electricity demand, expand rura energy access and ensure environmental stability, Myanmar urgently needs to attract investments by improving regulatory frameworks, promoting publiprivate partnerships and undertaking crucial sector reforms," said Stepehn Groff, ADB vice president.
President Thein Sein has largely shed the country's once-pariah
status by introducing political and economic reforms since coming to power in March, 2011.
With its abundant natural resources, the country's reemergence on he world stage has drawn interest from international aid agencies and foreign investors.