Despite basking in the fortune of its geographical position (positioned in the midst of an area of dynamic economic growth), extensive labour and rich natural resources, Myanmar is still struggling as one of the poorest nation's in the region (149th out of 187 countries for human development index, falling behind its ASEAN counterparts in education, poverty and development indicators) undoubtedly due to its continuous ethnic tensions and years of isolation.
Burmese Economy at a glance
- Second largest producer of world's opium
- Rice is the main agricultural product
- Producer of 90% of the world's rubies and has reserves of similar precious stones like sapphires, Pearls and jade.
- Main exports are raw materials, natural gas, timber, vegetables, rice and precious stones. It mostly export to Thailand, India, China and Japan.
- Main imports are textile material, petroleum products, fertilizers, machinery, construction material and food-types.
As a result of the current government's initiative, it unified the exchange rates and floated the Kyat in April 2012 with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and privatized main state's assets while reducing commercial monopoly of a few corrupt businessmen by opening up the country for business competition. Furthermore, with the lifting of international sanctions, the government has released some of the restrictions on import goods and introduced reforms in the form of new land and investment laws which creates special economic zones, paving the way for foreign investments.