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Economy of Myanmar

The economy of Myanmar (also known as Burma) is an emerging economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $63.14 billion and a purchasing power adjusted GDP of $244.37 billion in 2014.


The major agricultural produce is rice which covers about 60% of the country's total cultivated land area. Rice accounts for 97% of total food grain production by weight. In 2011, Myanmar's total milled rice production accounted for 10.26 million tons, an increase from the 1.8 per cent back in 2010.

Today, the country lacks adequate infrastructure. Goods travel primarily across the Thai border (where most illegal drugs are exported) and along the Ayeyarwady River. Railroads are old and rudimentary, with few repairs since their construction in the late nineteenth century. Highways are normally unpaved, except in the major cities. Energy shortages are common throughout the country including in Yangon. More than 45 million of the country's population is without electricity, with 70 per cent of people living in rural areas.

Burma is also the world's second largest producer of opium, accounting for 8% of entire world production and is a major source of illegal drugs, including amphetamines. 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 military government controls energy, heavy industry, and rice trade.

Garment production

In March 2012, 6 of Thailand's largest garment manufacturers announced that they would move production to Burma, principally to the Yangon area, citing lower labour costs.The Myanmar Govt. has introduced minimum wage of MMR 3,600 (US$2.80) per day for the garment workers from 1 September 2015.

Illegal drug trade

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. Burmese-produced Ya ba is typically trafficked to Thailand via Laos, before being transported through the northeastern Thai region of Isan.

Burma is also the 2nd largest supplier of opium (following Afghanistan) in the world, with 95% of opium grown in Shan State. Illegal narcotics have generated $1 to $2 billion USD in exports annually, with estimates of 40% of the country's foreign exchange coming from drugs.

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. Their investment in infrastructure have allowed them to make more profits, facilitate drug trafficking and money laundering.

Oil and gas

Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) is a national oil and gas company of Burma. The company is a sole operator of oil and gas exploration and production, as well as domestic gas transmission through a 1,900-kilometre (1,200 mi) onshore pipeline grid.

The Yadana Project is a project to exploit the Yadana gas field in the Andaman Sea and to carry natural gas to Thailand through Myanmar.

Sino-Burma pipelines refers to planned oil and natural gas pipelines linking the Burma's deep-water port of Kyaukphyu (Sittwe) in the Bay of Bengal with Kunming in Yunnan province, China.The Norwegian company Seadrill owned by John Fredriksen is involved in offshore oildrilling, expected to give the Burmese Military Junta oil and oil export revenues.

Myanmar exported $3.5 billion worth of gas, mostly to Thailand in the fiscal year up to March 2012.

Initiation to bid on oil exploration licenses for 18 of Myanmar's onshore oil blocks has been released on 18 January 2013.


The Union of Myanmar's rulers depend on sales of precious stones such as sapphires, pearls and jade to fund their regime. Rubies are the biggest earner; 90% of the world's rubies come from the country, whose red stones are prized for their purity and hue.


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.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Myanmar"

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