Economy in Myanmar

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Economy—overview: Burma has a mixed economy with private activity dominant in agriculture light industry and transport and with substantial state-controlled activity mainly in energy heavy industry and the rice trade. Government policy in the last nine years 1989-97 has aimed at revitalizing the economy after three decades of tight central planning. Thus private activity has markedly increased; foreign investment has been encouraged so far with moderate success; and efforts continue to increase the efficiency of state enterprises. Published estimates of Burma's foreign trade are greatly understated because of the volume of black-market trade. A major ongoing problem is the failure to achieve monetary and fiscal stability. Although Burma remains a poor Asian country its rich resources furnish the potential for substantial long-term increases in income exports and living standards.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$55.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1 190 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 61%

industry: 10%

services: 29% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 30%-40% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 18.8 million (FY95/96 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 65.2% industry 14.3% trade 10.1% government 6.3% other 4.1% (FY88/89 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $7.9 billion

expenditures: $12.2 billion including capital expenditures of $5.7 billion (FY96/97)

Industries: agricultural processing; textiles and footwear; wood and wood products; copper tin tungsten iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer

Industrial production growth rate: 9.2% (FY95/96 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 1.212 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 4.1 billion kWh (FY95/96 est.)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 79 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: paddy rice corn oilseed sugarcane pulses; hardwood


total value: $693 million (1996)

commodities: pulses and beans teak rice rubber hardwood

partners: Singapore China Indonesia India Thailand


total value: $1.4 billion (1996)

commodities: machinery transport equipment construction materials food products consumer goods

partners: Japan Singapore China Thailand Malaysia

Debt—external: $5.3 billion (FY94/95 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $61 million (1993)

Currency: 1 kyat (K) = 100 pyas

Exchange rates: kyats (K) per US$1—6.3941 (January 1998) 6.2418 (1997) 5.9176 (1996) 5.6670 (1995) 5.9749 (1994) 6.1570 (1993); unofficial—310-350 (1998)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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