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Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, corruption, and rural poverty. Despite Burma’s emergence as a natural gas exporter, socio-economic conditions have deteriorated under the mismanagement of the previous regime. Approximately 32% of the population lives in poverty and Burma is the poorest country in Southeast Asia. The business climate is widely perceived as opaque, corrupt, and highly inefficient. Wealth from country’s ample natural resources is concentrated in the hands of an elite group of military leaders and business associates. In 2010-11, the transfer of state assets – especially real estate – to military families under the guise of a privatization policy further widened the gap between the economic elite and the public. The economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances – including multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, fiscal deficits, lack of commercial credit further distorted by a non-market interest rate regime, unpredictable inflation, unreliable economic data, and an inability to reconcile national accounts. Burma’s poor investment climate – including weak rule of law – hampers the inflow of foreign investment; in recent years, foreign investors have shied away from nearly every sector except for natural gas, power generation, timber, and mining. The exploitation of natural resources does not benefit the population at large. The most productive sectors will continue to be in extractive industries – especially oil and gas, mining, and timber – with the latter two causing significant environmental degradation. Other areas, such as manufacturing, tourism, and services, struggle in the face of poor infrastructure, unpredictable trade policies, undeveloped human resources (the result of neglected health and education systems), endemic corruption, and inadequate access to capital for investment. Private banks still operate under tight domestic and international restrictions, limiting the private sector’s access to credit. The United States, the European Union, and Canada have imposed financial and economic sanctions on Burma. US sanctions, prohibiting most financial transactions with Burmese entities, impose travel bans on senior Burmese military and civilian leaders and others connected to the ruling regime, and ban imports of Burmese products. These sanctions affect the country’s fledgling garment industry, isolate the struggling banking sector, and raise the costs of doing business with Burmese companies, particularly firms tied to Burmese regime leaders. Remittances from overseas Burmese workers – who had provided significant financial support for their families – have driven the Ministry of Finance to license domestic banks to carry out overseas operations. In 2011 the government took initial steps toward reforming and opening up the economy by lowering export taxes, easing restrictions on its financial sector, and reaching out to international organizations for assistance. Although the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, significant improvements in economic governance, the business climate, and the political situation are needed to promote serious foreign investment.
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$82.72 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

$78.34 billion (2010 est.)
$74.36 billion (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
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$50.2 billion (2011 est.)
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5.5% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

5.5% (2010 est.)
5.1% (2009 est.)
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$1,300 (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

$1,300 (2010 est.)
$1,200 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
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agriculture: 43%
industry: 20.5%
services: 36.6% (2011 est.)
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32.53 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

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agriculture: 70%
industry: 7%
services: 23% (2001 est.)
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5.5% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

5.7% (2010 est.)
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32.7% (2007 est.)
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lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
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16% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

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revenues: $2.016 billion
expenditures: $4.272 billion (2011 est.)
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4% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 210

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-4.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

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8.9% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

7.7% (2010 est.)
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9.95% (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

12% (31 December 2009 est.)
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17% (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

17% (31 December 2010 est.)
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$8.531 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

$6.533 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
note: this number reflects the vastly overvalued official exchange rate of 5.38 kyat per dollar in 2007; at the unofficial black market rate of 1,305 kyat per dollar for 2007, the stock of kyats would equal only US$2.465 billion and Burma’s velocity of money (the number of times money turns over in the course of a year) would be six, in line with the velocity of money for other countries in the region; in January-February 2011, the unofficial black market rate averaged 890 kyat per dollar.
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$14.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

$10.89 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
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$15.66 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

$11.83 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
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$NA
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rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; fish and fish products; hardwood
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agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; oil and natural gas; garments, jade and gems
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4.3% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

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6.426 billion kWh (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

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4.63 billion kWh (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

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0 kWh (2009 est.)
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
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21,120 bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
37,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

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19,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113

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50 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

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11.54 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

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3.25 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

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8.29 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

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0 cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 161

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283.2 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

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$997.3 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

$1.553 billion (2010 est.)
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$9.543 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

$8.586 billion (2010 est.)
note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled to Thailand, China, and Bangladesh
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natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems
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Thailand 38.3%, India 20.8%, China 12.9%, Japan 5.2% (2010)
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$5.498 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

$4.224 billion (2010 est.)
note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India
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fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment; cement, construction materials, crude oil; food products, edible oil
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China 38.9%, Thailand 23.2%, Singapore 12.9%, South Korea 5.8% (2010)
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$3.929 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

$3.762 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
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$8.145 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 98

$7.993 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
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kyats (MMK) per US dollar –
815 (2011 est.)
970 (2010 est.)
1,055 (2009)
1,205 (2008)
1,296 (2007)
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1 April – 31 March
Source: CIA World Factbook 2012
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About The Aseanists Time

The Aseanists Time is daily online newspaper and magazine covering on regional politic, economic, and social issues; science and technology, regional leaders, politic and economic in each ASEAN Member States along with ASEAN 6 (United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, and India), regional natural disaster and climate change, regional business, finance and economic statistic and figure. Furthermore, We also cover on top 10 economic countries. Finally, we report ASEAN, EU and UN as well.

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