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After , the regime retreated from totalitarian socialism. It permitted modest expansion of the private sector, allowed some foreign investment, and received much needed foreign exchange. The corruption watchdog organisation Transparency International in its Corruption Perceptions Index released on 26 September ranked Burma the most corrupt country in the world, tied with Somalia.
The national currency is the kyat. Burma currently has a dual exchange rate system similar to Cuba. Inflation averaged The workshop concluded that skyrocketing inflation was impeding economic growth. In recent years, China and India attempted to strengthen ties with Myanmar for mutual benefit. The European Union and some nations including the United States and Canada imposed investment and trade sanctions on Burma.
The United States banned all imports from Burma, though this restriction was since lifted. In , when new President Thein Sein 's government came to power, Burma embarked on a major policy of reforms including anti- corruption , currency exchange rate regulation, foreign investment laws and taxation. In response, the government relaxed import restrictions and abolished export taxes. Despite current currency problems, Burmese economy is expected to grow by about 8.
In , the Asian Development Bank formally began re-engaging with the country, to finance infrastructure and development projects in the country. In March , a draft foreign investment law emerged, the first in more than 2 decades. This law oversees unprecedented liberalisation of the economy. It for example stipulates that foreigners no longer require a local partner to start a business in the country, and are able to legally lease land. Myanmar's inward foreign direct investment has steadily increased since its reform.
According to one report released on 30 May , by the McKinsey Global Institute, Burma's future looks bright, with its economy expected to quadruple by if it invests in more high-tech industries. In a first ever countrywide study the Myanmar government found that 37 per cent of the nation's population are unemployed and an average of 26 per cent live in poverty.
The current state of the Burmese economy has also had a significant impact on the people of Burma , as economic hardship results in extreme delays of marriage and family building. The average age of marriage in Burma is Burma also has a low fertility rate, of 2. The foreign investment law draft, included a proposal to transform the Myanmar Investment Commission from a government-appointed body into an independent board.
This could bring greater transparency to the process of issuing investment licenses, according to the proposed reforms drafted by experts and senior officials. Many regions such as the Golden Triangle remain off-limits for foreigners, and in some of these regions, the government is still at war with certain ethnic groups. Through collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute IRRI , 52 modern rice varieties were released in the country between and , helping increase national rice production to 14 million tons in and to 19 million tons in In northern Burma opium bans have ended a century old tradition of growing poppy.
Between 20, and 30, ex-poppyfarmers left the Kokang region as a result of the ban in Rubber plantations are being promoted in areas of high elevation like Mong Mao. Sugar plantations are grown in the lowlands such as Mong Pawk District. The lack of an educated workforce skilled in modern technology contributes to the growing problems of the economy.
Lately, the country lacks adequate infrastructure. Goods travel primarily across Thai and China borders and through the main port in Yangon. Railroads are old and rudimentary, with few repairs since their construction in the late nineteenth century. Highways are normally paved, except in the remote border regions.
About 30 percent of the country's population is without electricity, with 70 per cent of people living in rural areas. The civilian government has indicated that electricity will be imported from Laos to fulfill demand. Other industries include agricultural goods, textiles, wood products, construction materials, gems, metals, oil and natural gas. The private sector dominates in agriculture , light industry , and transport activities, while the government controls energy , heavy industry , and military industries.
The garment industry is a major job creator in the Yangon area, with around , workers employed in total in mid The Myanmar garments sector has seen significant influx of foreign direct investment , if measured by the number of entries rather than their value. In March , six of Thailand's largest garment manufacturers announced that they would move production to Burma, principally to the Yangon area, citing lower labour costs. Burma Myanmar is the largest producer of methamphetamines in the world, with the majority of ya ba found in Thailand produced in Burma, particularly in the Golden Triangle and Northeastern Shan State , which borders Thailand, Laos and China.
In , Burma trafficked 1 billion tablets to neighbouring Thailand. Prior to the s, heroin was typically transported from Burma to Thailand, before being trafficked by sea to Hong Kong , which was and still remains the major transit point at which heroin enters the international market. Now, drug trafficking has circumvented to southern China from Yunnan , Guizhou , Guangxi , Guangdong because of a growing market for drugs in China, before reaching Hong Kong.
The prominence of major drug traffickers have allowed them to penetrate other sectors of the Burmese economy, including the banking, airline, hotel and infrastructure industries. Myanmar has rich solar power and hydropower potential.
Country's technical solar power potential is the highest among the nations of the Greater Mekong Subregion. Wind energy, biogas and biomass have limited potential and weakly developed. The Union of Myanmar's economy depends heavily on sales of precious stones such as sapphires , pearls and jade.
Thailand buys the majority of the country's gems. Myanmar is famed for its production of Golden South Sea Pearls. In recent years, the countries has auctioned its production in Hong Kong, first organized by Belpearl company in to critical acclaim and premium prices due to strong Chinese demand.
Notable pearls include the New Dawn of Myanmar, a 19mm round golden pearl which sold to an anonymous buyer for undisclosed price. In , following the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar , human rights organisations, gem dealers, and US First Lady Laura Bush called for a boycott of a Myanmar gem auction held twice yearly, arguing that the sale of the stones profited the dictatorial regime in that country.
They should be an object of revulsion. It's the only country where one obtains really top quality rubies, but I stopped dealing in them. I don't want to be part of a nation's misery. If someone asks for a ruby now I show them a nice pink sapphire. Richard W. Hughes, author of Ruby and Sapphire, a Bangkok-based gemologist who has made many trips to Burma makes the point that for every ruby sold through the junta, another gem that supports subsistence mining is smuggled over the Thai border.
The permits for new gem mines in Mogoke, Mineshu and Nanyar state will be issued by the ministry according to a statement issued by the ministry on 11 February. While many sanctions placed on the former regime were eased or lifted in , the US has left restrictions on importing rubies and jade from Myanmar intact. According to recent amendments to the new Myanmar foreign investment law, there is no longer a minimum capital requirement for investments, except in mining ventures, which require substantial proof of capital and must be documented through a domestic bank.
Another important clarification in the investment law is the dropping of foreign ownership restrictions in joint ventures, except in restricted sectors, such as mining, where FDI will be capped at 80 per cent. Since , the government has encouraged tourism. Until , fewer than , tourists entered the country annually,  but there has been substantial growth over the past years.
In , 1. Tourism is thus a growing sector of the economy of Burma. Burma has diverse and varied tourist attractions and is served internationally by numerous airlines via direct flights. Domestic and foreign airlines also operate flights within the country. Cruise ships also dock at Yangon. Overland entry with a border pass is permitted at several border checkpoints. The government requires a valid passport with an entry visa for all tourists and business people.
As of May , foreign business visitors from any country can apply for a visa on arrival when passing through Yangon and Mandalay international airports without having to make any prior arrangements with travel agencies. Seeing Burma through a personal tour guide is popular. Travelers can hire guides through travel agencies. The junta's forced labour programmes were focused around tourist destinations which have been heavily criticised for their human rights records.
Even disregarding the obviously governmental fees, Burma's Minister of Hotels and Tourism Major-General Saw Lwin recently admitted that the government receives a significant percentage of the income of private sector tourism services. Not to mention the fact that only a very small minority of impoverished ordinary people in Burma ever see any money with any relation to tourism. Before , much of the country was completely off-limits to tourists, and the military very tightly controlled interactions between foreigners and the people of Burma.
Locals were not allowed to discuss politics with foreigners, under penalty of imprisonment, and in , the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board issued an order for local officials to protect tourists and limit "unnecessary contact" between foreigners and ordinary Burmese people. Since , Burma has opened up to more tourism and foreign capital, synonymous with the country's transition to democracy. More specifically, infrastructural development in Myanmar should address three major challenges over the upcoming years: 1 Road modernization and integration with neighboring roads and transportation networks; 2 Development of regional airports and expansion of existing airport capacity, and 3 Maintenance and consolidation of urban transport infrastructure, through instalments of innovative transportation tools including but not limited to water-taxis and air-conditioned buses.
Myanmar needs to scale up its enabling infrastructure like transport, power supply and public utilities. This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Burma at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund and EconStats with figures in millions of Myanmar kyats.
The following table shows the main economic indicators in — Though foreign investment has been encouraged, it has so far met with only moderate success. This is because foreign investors have been adversely affected by the junta government policies and because of international pressure to boycott the junta government. The European Union has placed embargoes on arms, non-humanitarian aid, visa bans on military regime leaders, and limited investment bans. Both the European Union and the US have placed sanctions on grounds of human rights violations in the country.
However, on 22 April the EU suspended economic and political sanctions against Burma. The public sector enterprises remain highly inefficient and also privatisation efforts have stalled. A major ongoing problem is the failure to achieve monetary and fiscal stability. Due to this, Burma remains a poor country with no improvement of living standards for the majority of the population over the past decade. The main causes for continued sluggish growth are poor government planning, internal unrest, minimal foreign investment and the large trade deficit.
One of the recent government initiatives is to utilise Burma's large natural gas deposits. The Economist ' s special report on Burma points to increased economic activity resulting from Burma's political transformation and influx of foreign direct investment from Asian neighbours.
Japan is not the largest investor in Myanmar. Thai rulers have for centuries been toying with the idea of building a canal across the Kra Isthmus , linking the Gulf of Thailand directly to the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean to avoid the journey round peninsular Malaysia through the Strait of Malacca. Dawei would give Thailand that connection. China, by far the biggest investor in Burma, has focused on constructing oil and gas pipelines that "crisscross the country, starting from a new terminus at Kyaukphyu , just below Sittwe , up to Mandalay and on to the Chinese border town of Ruili and then Kunming , the capital of Yunnan province ".
Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. The junta took steps in the early s to liberalize the economy after decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism," but those efforts stalled, and some of the liberalization measures were rescinded.
Burma does not have monetary or fiscal stability, so the economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances — including inflation, multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, and a distorted interest rate regime. Most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the democracy movement in and subsequently refused to honor the results of the legislative elections.
In response to the government of Burma's attack in May on Aung San Suu Kyi and her convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions against Burma — including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on provision of financial services by US persons. A poor investment climate further slowed the inflow of foreign exchange. The most productive sectors will continue to be in extractive industries, especially oil and gas, mining, and timber.
A major banking crisis in shuttered the country's 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of December , the largest private banks operate under tight restrictions limiting the private sector's access to formal credit. Official statistics are inaccurate. Published statistics on foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the black market and unofficial border trade — often estimated to be as large as the official economy.
Burma's trade with Thailand, China, and India is rising. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, better investment and business climates and an improved political situation are needed to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism.
Financing Geothermal projects in Myanmar use an estimated break even power cost of 5. The main drawback with depreciation pressures, in the current FX market. Local businesses with foreign denominated loans from abroad suddenly found themselves rushing for a strategy to mitigate currency risks. Myanmar's current lack of available currency hedging solutions presents a real challenge for Geothermal project financing.
In April , the US Government Accountability Office GAO identified the financial and other restrictions that the military government places on international humanitarian assistance in the Southeast Asian country. The GAO report, entitled "Assistance Programs Constrained in Burma," outlines the specific efforts of the Burmese government to hinder the humanitarian work of international organisations, including by restricting the free movement of international staff within the country.
The report notes that the regime has tightened its control over assistance work since former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt was purged in October Furthermore, the reports states that the military government passed guidelines in February , which formalised Burma's restrictive policies. According to the report, the guidelines require that programs run by humanitarian groups "enhance and safeguard the national interest" and that international organisations co-ordinate with state agents and select their Burmese staff from government-prepared lists of individuals.
United Nations officials have declared these restrictions unacceptable. The shameful behavior of Burma's military regime in tying the hand of humanitarian organizations is laid out in these pages for all to see, and it must come to an end," said U. At least one million people have fled their homes and many are simply being left to die in the jungle. Agriculture — products: rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products.
Exchange rates: kyats per US dollar — 1, est. China has biggest of investment commitments for this fiscal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Economy of Myanmar Sakura Tower in Yangon. Fiscal year. Inflation CPI.
Population below poverty line. Human Development Index. Ease-of-doing-business rank. Public debt. Further information: British rule in Burma. Further information: Opium production in Burma. See also: Golden Triangle Southeast Asia. Main article: Oil and gas industry in Myanmar. Main article: Tourism in Burma. International Monetary Fund.
Retrieved 29 September She spoke during a video conference at an online investment forum that was attended by Japanese bodies such as the Japan Business Federation , or Keidanren. The government has plans to develop infrastructure in this new economic zone. This includes a seaport and industrial park on the coast of Mon State on the Indian Ocean. In addition, a planned highway linking Thailand and Vietnam will pass through Mon State.
Myanmar is hoping to draw more foreign direct investment through the construction of this zone. The country had only about confirmed cases, a relatively low number, but enough to warrant precautions. Counsellor Suu Kyi believes that a V-shaped economic recovery was possible in Currently, there are three special economic zones under development but only one is operating, the Thilawa economic zone which was jointly developed with Japan.
The economic zone in Kyaukpyu in the west of the country will be jointly developed with China, although construction has not started yet. Counsellor Suu Kyi said a new industrial park will also be developed west of Yangon, and the tender process will start soon. The industrial park was thought to be initiated by the Chinese, but Myanmar will invite Japanese companies to participate in the project.
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