Myanmar evokes a country known for its sleepy colonial days, decades of military rule and for having a Nobel Laureate—Aug San Suu Kyi—who has rigorously pushed for democratic reforms. It is a large country with a population of 50 million (larger than Spain), but average incomes are only $1200 per year. After decades of military rule that closed its economy off to the world, Myanmar has recently charted a new path towards prosperity through political and economic reforms.
What does it mean for an economy to transition from closed to open? How does this transition happen if markets are rife with information asymmetries? What sectors will take off? What private-sector opportunities exist? Is Myanmar the next Vietnam? Can its policy reforms get them to achieve the growth of its East Asian neighbors? Will it be able to diversify its economy away from natural resources towards manufacturing and services? What is the role of foreign investment?
Obviously, very few students are likely to move to Myanmar after business school. But this course is about the next frontier. Will you be doing business in Myanmar 20 years from now?
This course will provide analytical and case-based perspectives on Myanmar’s economic potential. We will learn how to analyze an emerging country’s opening up to trade and investment. These economic tools can be applied other developing countries, such as Iran or even subnational regions of countries that remain relatively closed.
Myanmar is a different from other countries that GIPs normally go to. It is a very low-income country, and is underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure and amenities. It lacks basic luxuries that we all take for granted. So, beyond the learning objectives, this course will be an adventure.
About the Global Immersion Program
Global Immersion Program classes bridge classroom lessons and business practices in another country. These three credit classes meet for half a term in New York prior to a one week visit to the country of focus where students will meet with local leaders, business executives and government officials while working on team projects. This course will meet in the A term before travel to Myanmar from March 11-18, 2017.
Upon return from the travel portion of the class, students will have a wrap up meeting at Columbia Business School. The 2016-17 Global Immersion program fee for this course is $1800 and provides students with double occupancy lodging, ground transportation and some meals. It does not cover roundtrip international airfare. Attendance both in New York and in-country and regular participation are a crucial part of the learning experience and as such attendance is mandatory. Students who miss the first class meeting may be removed from the course. No program fee refunds will be given after the add/drop period has closed. Please visit the Chazen Institute website to learn more about the Global Immersion Program and review all policies of the program.
Jerome A. Chazen Professor of Global Business; Chair of Economics Division
Professor Khandelwal teaches an elective course on International Business. His research interests examine issues in international and development economics, including the strategic response of firms to trade liberalizations and increased international competition.