Myanmar Military, Economy and Transportation

Myanmar Military


Economy overview: Myanmar has a mixed economy, with agriculture, light industry and the transport sector dominated by private enterprise, while the energy sector, heavy industry and the rice trade are under government control. For the past 11 years, from 1989 to 1999, government policy has focused on revitalizing the economy after three decades of hard central planning. Private enterprise grew noticeably in the mid-1990s, but its activity has been declining in the past few years due to the deteriorating business climate and political pressure from Western countries. Published estimates of the volume of Myanmar’s foreign trade are greatly underestimated, as the black market and border trade are very active. The main unresolved problem is the need to achieve monetary and financial stability. Myanmar remains a poor Asian country; over the past decade, the standard of living of the majority of the population has not improved. Growth is unlikely to pick up in the near future due to poor governance, internal conflicts, insufficient foreign investment, and a large trade deficit.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $63.7 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 4.9% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,500 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 42%; industry: 17%; services: 41% (2000 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 23% (1997 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 2.8%; by the top 10% of families: 32.4% (1998).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 18% (1999 est.).
Labor force: 19.7 million people (FY 1998-99 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 65%, industry 10%, services 25% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: officially 7.1% (FY97-98 est.).
Budget: revenues: $7.9 billion; expenditures: $12.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.7 billion (FY96-97).
Spheres of economy: processing of agricultural products; textile and footwear industry; timber industry; mining of copper, tin, tungsten and iron; production of building materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer production.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 4.813 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 68.56%; hydropower: 31.44%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 4.476 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: paddy rice, corn, sunflower seeds, sugar cane, legumes; solid woods.
Export: $1.3 billion (free on board, 1999)
Exports: clothing 36%, food 22%, timber and wood products 21%, gems 5% (1999).
Export partners: India 13%, Singapore 11%, China 11%, USA 8% (1999 est.); note: official figures do not include illicit trade in narcotics, teakwood and gemstones, nor significant border trade with China and Thailand.
Imports: $2.5 billion (free on board, 1999)
Import articles: machinery, transport equipment, building materials, foodstuffs.
Import partners: Singapore 28%, Thailand 12%, China 10%, Japan 10%, South Korea 9% (1999 est.).
External debt: $6 billion (FY99-2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $99 million (FY98-99)
Donor economic aid:
Currency: kyat.
Currency code: MMK.
Exchange rate: MMK/USD – official rate – 6.5972 (January 2001), 6.5167 (2000), 6.2858 (1999), 6.3432 (1998), 6.2418 (1997), 5.9176 ( 1996); MMK/USD – black market rate -435 (late 2000).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31. Ill


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 250,000 (2000).
Mobile cellular telephones: 8 492 (1997).
Telephone system: local and long distance communication meets only the minimum requirements of government and business; international communication is at a good level; internal: no data; international: satellite earth stations – 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 2, FM – 3, shortwave – 3 (1998).
Radio receivers: 4.2 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1998).
Televisions: 320,000 (2000).
Internet country code: mm
Internet service providers: one; note: as of September 2000, only government and tourism organizations and some large enterprises can legally access the Internet (2000).
Number of users: 500 (2000).


Transport Railways: total length: 3,991 km; narrow gauge: 3,991 km (1,000 m gauge).
Roads: total length: 28,200 km; coated: 3,440 km; unpaved: 24,760 km (1996 est.)
Waterways: 12,800 km; 3,200 km are navigable for large merchant ships.
Pipelines: for crude oil -1,343 km; for natural gas – 330 km.
Ports and harbors: Akyab (Sittwe), Bamo, Bassein, Mandalay, Mulmein, Myitkiyna, Rangoon, Tavoy, Chok.
Merchant navy: in total: 37 ships (of 1,000 tons displacement and over) with a total displacement of 411,181 gross register tons / 632,769 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: dry cargo ships – 11, cargo ships – 20, container ships – 1, cargo-passenger ships – 3, oil tankers – 2; note: including foreign ships registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Japan 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 80 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 9; over 3,047 m: 3; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 71; over 3,047 m: 2; from 1524 to 2437 m:15; from 914 to 1523 m:22; less than 914 m: 32 (2000 est.). Helipads: 1 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force. See to know more about Myanmar Military.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Men 15 to 49: 12,050,964; women from 15 to 49 years old: 12,070,017; note: women, like men, are liable for military service (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 6,425,514; women aged 15 to 49: 6,419,677 (2001 est.).
The number of persons annually reaching military age: men: 470,667; women: 479,691 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $39 million (FY97-98)
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.1% (FY97-98)

International Issues

International Issues International Disputes: Sporadic clashes with Thailand over border alignment and Shan rebels active in the border region.
Illicit drugs: second largest opium producing country in the world after Afghanistan (potential production in 1999 – 1,090 tons, due to drought 38% less than in 1998; poppy plantation area in 1999 – 89,500 ha, by 31% less than in 1998); in 1996, the Mong Tai Army, led by the notorious drug lord KHUN SA, surrendered to the government; Rangoon regarded this event as a huge success in the fight against drugs, but in fact the overall success of this fight is hindered by the inability and unwillingness of the government to crack down on the main drug trafficking organizations and the lack of serious measures against money laundering; the country is becoming an increasingly large producer of methamphetamines for regional consumption.

Myanmar Military