Recently opened after decades of isolation, Myanmar is a new target for growth in Southeast Asia. With a large population and vast areas of the economy that largely underdeveloped, Myanmar is almost a blank canvas for rapid expansion of its economy and companies involved in the country.

  • Official country name: Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma)
  • Capital: Naypyidaw
  • Total Area: 676,578 km²
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • Currency: Kyat, K – MMK
  • Drives on the: right
  • Calling Code: +95
  • Internet TLD: .mm

Demographics

  • Population: 51,486,253 (2014 census)
  • Population Density: 76/km²
  • Official Languages: Burmese
  • HDI: 0.498 (low)
  • Ethnic Groups:
    • 68% Bamar
    • 9% Shan
    • 7% Karen
    • 4% Rakhine
    • 3% Chinese
    • 2% Indian
    • 2% Mon
    • 5% other

The Burmese business environment

To ensure the successful transition of the economy from state-controlled industries to freer markets, the government wants to attract investors to develop infrastructures and supply products and services to its population. After a historic opening of the country, the Myanmar government has cleverly maintained the country’s low taxes.

This new opening has generated a real estate boom, fueled by the increased arrival of tourists, expats and businessmen eager to doing business in Myanmar.

Key economic data of Myanmar

  • GDP (PPP): USD 311.074 Billion (2016 Estimate)
  • GDP per Capita (PPP): USD 5,953
  • GDP (Nominal): USD 68.277 Billion (2016 Estimate)
  • GDP per Capita (Nominal): USD 1,306
  • GDP Growth: 8.5% (2014 Estimate)
  • GDP by sector: (2014 Estimate)
    • agriculture: 37.1%
    • industry: 21.3%
    • services: 41.6%
  • Labor force: 32.53 Million (2011 Estimate)
  • Labor force by occupation: (2001)
    • agriculture 70%
    • industry 7%
    • services 23%
  • Unemployment: 37% (2012)
  • Inflation: 5.9% (2014 Estimate)

Main industries of Myanmar

  • agricultural processing
  • wood and wood products
  • copper, tin, tungsten, iron
  • cement, construction materials
  • pharmaceuticals
  • fertilizer
  • petroleum and natural gas
  • garments
  • jade and gems

Myanmar digital

Myanmar’s digital population is rapidly expanding as more and more people now have access to mobile and expanding telecommunications infrastructures.

Numbers of Internet, social media and mobile users in Myanmar in 2018

Myanmar trade data

With low trade volumes currently, Myanmar’s economic opening now sets the country’s towards important growth in the coming years.

Note: official export and import figures are underestimated and do not account for smuggling with neighboring countries.

Exports: USD 10.49 Billion (2016 Estimate)

Export Goods:

  • natural gas
  • wood products
  • pulses
  • beans
  • fish
  • rice
  • clothing
  • jade and gems

Main Export Partners: (2015 Estimate)

  • China 37.7%
  • Thailand 25.6%
  • India 7.7%
  • Japan 6.2%

Imports: USD 13.96 Billion (2016 Estimate)

Import Goods:

  • fabric
  • petroleum products
  • plastics
  • fertiliser
  • machinery
  • transport equipment
  • cement
  • construction materials
  • crude oil
  • food products
  • edible oil

Main Import Partners: (2015 Estimate)

  • China 42.2%
  • Thailand 18.5%
  • Singapore 11%
  • Japan 4.8%

Source: Aseanup