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IMF to help Myanmar unify multiple exchange rates
WASHINGTON Aug 8 (Reuters) - IMF officials will travel to Myanmar in the second half of October to help unify its foreign exchange system and lift restrictions on international transactions, an IMF spokeswoman said on Monday.
"We have received a request from the authorities to help them prepare to modernize their exchange rate system and lift restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions," IMF spokeswoman Gita Bhatt said.
The country's new civilian government has promised economic development and pro-business reforms. Dollars are pouring into Myanmar's largely opaque economy as foreign investors try to tap its vast resources, with gas by far its most lucrative export commodity.
The country has a multiple exchange rate system, which consists of an official exchange rate and several informal parallel rates. Different rates are used for different types of transactions.
A paper by IMF economists in 2008 said the system created distortions, was opaque and costly. It argued that unifying the different rates would help Myanmar benefit from a more efficient allocation of resources.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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