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Myanmar Facts

Myanmar Facts | Union of Burma Information | Myanmar Statistics | Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma

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 BURMESE POLITICAL
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Background: Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest, where she remains virtually incommunicado. In November 2005, the junta extended her detention for at least another six months. Her supporters, as well as all those who promote democracy and improved human rights, are routinely harassed or jailed.
 
 
Common Name: Myanmar Local Official Name: Myanma Naingngandaw
Abbreviated Name: Union of Burma Official Name: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw
Official Script Name: Myanmar Local Common Name: Myanmar
Former Name: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: Prime Minister and Chairman Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE
 
Government Type: military junta
 
Independence: 1948 January 4 (from UK)
 
Constitution: 1974 January 3 ; suspended since 18 September 1988; national convention convened in 1993 to draft a new constitution but collapsed in 1996; reconvened in 2004 but does not include participation of democratic opposition
 
National Holiday: Independence Day, 4 January
 
International Organization Participation: APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
Administrative Divisions: 7 divisions (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne) divisions: Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, Yangon states: Chin State, Kachin State, Kayah State, Kayin State, Mon State, Rakhine State, Shan State
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992) head of government: Prime Minister, Gen SOE WIN (since 19 October 2004) cabinet: Cabinet is overseen by the SPDC; military junta, so named 15 November 1997, assumed power 18 September 1988 under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) elections: none Legislative Branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never allowed by junta to convene election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NLD 392 (opposition), SNLD 23 (opposition), NUP 10 (pro-government), other 60 Judicial Branch: remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent of the executive
 
Party Leaders: National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary]; National Unity Party or NUP (pro-regime) [THA KYAW] (at last report); Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [HKUN HTUN OO]; and other smaller parties
 
International Disputes: over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups with substantial numbers of kin beyond its borders; despite continuing border committee talks, significant differences remain with Thailand over boundary alignment and the handling of ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; ethnic Karens flee into Thailand to escape fighting between Karen rebels and Burmese troops; in 2005 Thailand sheltered about 121,000 Burmese refugees; Karens also protest Thai support for a Burmese hydroelectric dam on the Salween River near the border; environmentalists in Burma and Thailand continue to voice concern over China's construction of hydroelectric dams upstream on the Nujiang/Salween River in Yunnan Province; India seeks cooperation from Burma to keep Indian Nagaland separatists from hiding in remote Burmese uplands
 
Illicit Drugs: remains world's second largest producer of illicit opium (estimated production in 2004 - 292 metric tons, down 40% from 2003 due to eradication efforts and drought; cultivation in 2004 - 30,900 hectares, a 34% decline from 2003); lack of government will to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; major source of methamphetamine and heroin for regional consumption; currently under Financial Action Task Force countermeasures due to continued failure to address its inadequate money-laundering controls 
 
 
 BURMESE GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Myanmar: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand
 
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 678,500 sq km 
Region: South East Asia Land Area Land: 657,740 sq km
Capitol City: Rangoon Land Area Water: 20,760 sq km
      
Latitude: 022 00 N Border Boundary Land: 5,876 km
Longitude: 098 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 1,930 km 
  
Arable Land: 14.92 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 1.31 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 5,881 m Location: Hkakabo Razi
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Andaman Sea
  
Largest City in Myanmar: Yangon Yangon Largest City Population: 4,101,000
  
Threatened Species: 141
 
Environmental Issues: deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94 signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
Irrigated Land: 18,700
 
Bordering Countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km
 
Natural Resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
 
Geographical Terrain: central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands
 
Comparative Area of Myanmar: slightly smaller than Texas
 
Myanmar's Geography: strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes
 

 BURMESE CLIMATE
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General Climate: tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April)
 
Natural Hazards: destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
 
 
 BURMESE ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. The junta took steps in the early 1990s 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 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the results of the 1990 legislative elections. In response to the government of Burma's attack in May 2003 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. Other areas, such as manufacturing and services, are struggling with inadequate infrastructure, unpredictable import/export policies, deteriorating health and education systems, and corruption. A major banking crisis in 2003 shuttered the country's 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of December 2005, 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.
 
 
GDP: $78,740,000,000 USD Currency: kyat
GDP per Capita: $1,700 USD Currency Code: MMK
GDP Growth Rate: 2.90 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: kyats per US dollar - 5.761 (2005), 5.7459 (2004), 6.0764 (2003), 6.5734 (2002), 6.6841 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 56.40 % GDP of Industry: 8.20 %
GDP of Services: 35.30 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 20.20 % Population in Poverty: 25.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 5.00 % Tourism: 198,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 2.80 % Budget Revenue in USD: $473,300,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 32.40 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $716,600,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 7,393,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 6,875,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 83.30% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 16.70% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
   
Oil Production: 18,500 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 9,980,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 32,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 1,569,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 3,356 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 8,424,000,000 cu m
Oil Imports: 49,230 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 283,200,000,000 cu m
   
External Debt: $6,990,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $127,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products
 
Primary Industries: agricultural processing; knit and woven apparel; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; cement; natural gas
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 0.00 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $3,454,000,000 USD - fabric, petroleum products, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, crude oil; food products
 
Import Partners: China 28.8%, Thailand 21.8%, Singapore 18.3%, Malaysia 7.6%
 
Export Amount in USD: $3,111,000,000 USD - clothing, gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice
 
Export Partners: Thailand 44.3%, India 12.3%, China 6.8%, Japan 5%
 
    
GINI Index: 0.00%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 27,750,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 70%, industry 7%, services 23%
 
  
 BURMESE COMMUNICATIONS
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 2 Number of People with Radios: 4,200,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 2 Number of People with Televisions: 320,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 424,900 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 92,500
 
Internet Service Providers: 43 Internet Users: 63,700
 
Internet Country Code: .mm Newspapers: 9
Two Letter Country Code: BM Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 95 Electricity Voltage: Volts
  
Telephone Systems: General assessment: barely meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government; international service is fair Domestic: NA International: country code - 95; satellite earth station - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean), and ShinSat
 
  
 BURMESE TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 3,200 km Railways: 3,955 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 2,614 km Waterways: 12,800 km
Airports: 21 Heliports: 1
 
Motor Vehicles: 6 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 8,493,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 0.20 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: total: 34 ships (1000 GRT or over) 402,699 GRT/620,642 DWT by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 20, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 3, specialized tanker 1 foreign-owned: 9 (Germany 5, Japan 4)
 
Ports and Harbors: Moulmein, Rangoon, Sittwe
 
  
 BURMESE PEOPLE
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Population: 47,382,633 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 17.91 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 73.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 9.83 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.81% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.98 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 6,335,236 Population Female 0-14: 6,181,216
Population Male 15-64: 16,011,723 Population Female 15-64: 16,449,626
Population Male 65+: 1,035,853 Population Female 65+: 1,368,979
 
Population 0-14: 26.40% Literacy Rate: 85.30%
Population 15-64: 68.50% Literacy rate of Males: 89.20%
Population 65+: 5.10% Literacy rate of Females: 81.40%
 
Population that is Male: 48.50 % Population that is Female: 51.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 60.97 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 61.85 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 58.07 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 50.38 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 1.20% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 330,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 20,000
   
Disease Risk: very high
 
Diseases: food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.00
 
Nationality: BURMESE
 
Ethnic Groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5% 
 
  
Primary Language: Burmese
 
Other Languages: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
 
 
Primary Religion: Buddhist
 
Other Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%
 
  
 BURMESE MILITARY
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Branches: Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army, Navy, Air Force
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
 
Manpower Available: 24,738,621 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 16,490,406 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 925,530 People per year
 
Expenditures: $39,000,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 2.10
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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