GENERAL FACTS ABOUT MYANMAR/BURMA Country Name The Union of Burma (January, 1948 – January, 1974)The Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma (January, 1974 – September, 1988) The Union of Myanmar (1989 - Present) Independence Day -January 4, 1948 (Independence from the British colonial rule from 1885 – 1947) Country Size 261,218 square miles – the largest country in South East Asia
The coordinates of Burma is located with alatitude of 21 degrees North and a longitude of95 degrees EastMyanmar is located to the east of India and westof China, as well as a widespread border withThailand to the south. Laos and Bangladesh alsoshare relatively small borders with Myanmar.Myanmar is shaped with a panhandle similar toOklahoma that runs along the western side ofThailand. Myanmar is located south the Plateauof Tibet, to the west of the Indochina Peninsula,and north of the Malay Peninsula.The capital of Myanmar is Yangon or otherwiseknown as Rangoon.
Water Myanmar has several water masses surrounding the southern coast. The Bay of Bengal is on the southwestern coast, the Gulf of Martaban is located south of Myanmar’s capital Yangon, and the Andaman Sea is located on the western side of the panhandle.
The Irrawaddy or AyeyarwadyRiver is Myanmar’s major river,this river runs South across thecountry
The Chindwin River is themajor branch of theAyeyarwady River.
Sittaung River lies in east central Myanmar, rising northeast of Yamethin on the edge of the Shan Plateau and flowing south to empty into the Gulf of Martaban of the Andaman Sea.The Thanlwin River (Salween) leaves Chinaand strolls through Myanmar and Thailandon its way to emptying in the Andaman Seaby Mawlamyine
Population• 50,519,000• Male - 49.7 %• Female - 50.3 % 70 % of total population lives in rural area ReligionMajor language Buddhism - 89.2%Burmese (official language) and ethnic languages;Shan, Kachin, Kayar, Mon etc. Christianity (5.0%) Islam (3.8%) Hinduism 0.5% Spiritualism (1.2%) Others (0.2%)
The average life expectancy for amale is 57.35 years and for a female62.93 years. There is a 1.20percentage of the population withHIV/AIDS. About one third(29.3%) of the population is underthe age of 15 and only 4.60 % of thepopulation over the age of 65.http://youtu.be/34ym9QciLc4
CurrencyKyats (K) (1 kyat = 100 pyas)Main exportsTeak, Jade, Gems, pulses and beans, prawns, fish,rice, opiates, oil and natural gas
GovernmentMilitary Junta (de facto Military Dictatorship)The State Peace and Development Council(Renamed the State Law and Order RestorationCouncil in 1997)Head of the StateSenior General Than ShweChairman of the State Peace and DevelopmentCouncil Military Commander- in-Chief(April, 1992 – Present)
Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficienteconomic policies, and rural poverty. The junta took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize theeconomy after decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism," but those effortsstalled, and some of the liberalization measures were rescinded. Lacking monetary or fiscalstability, the economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances - including inflation,multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, and a distorted interest rateregime. Most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress thedemocracy movement in 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the results of the 1990legislative elections. In response to the government of Burmas attack in May 2003 onAUNG SAN SUU KYI and her convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions againstBurma - including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on provision offinancial services by US persons. A poor investment climate further slowed the inflow offoreign 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 2003shuttered the countrys 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of 2006, the largestprivate banks operate under tight restrictions limiting the private sectors access to formalcredit. Official statistics are inaccurate. Published statistics on foreign trade are greatlyunderstated because of the size of the black market and unofficial border trade - oftenestimated to be as large as the official economy. Burmas trade with Thailand, China, andIndia is rising. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with itsneighbors, better investment and business climates and an improved political situation areneeded to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism.