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Burma Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Burma has a mixed economy with about 75% private activity, mainly in agriculture, light industry, and transport, and with about 25% state-controlled activity, mainly in energy, heavy industry, and foreign trade. Government policy in the last six years, 1989-94, has aimed at revitalizing the economy after four decades of tight central planning. Thus, private activity has markedly increased; foreign investment has been encouraged, so far with moderate success; and efforts continue to increase the efficiency of state enterprises. Published estimates of Burma's foreign trade are greatly understated because of the volume of black market trade. A major ongoing problem is the failure to achieve monetary and fiscal stability. Although Burma remains a poor Asian country, its rich resources furnish the potential for substantial long-term increases in income, exports, and living standards.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $41.4 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      6.4% (1994)

    • National product per capita:
      $930 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      38% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:

        $4.4 billion

        $6.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY93/94 est.)

    • Exports:
      $674 million (FY93/94 est.)

        pulses and beans, teak, rice, hardwood

        Singapore, China, Thailand, India, Hong Kong

    • Imports:
      $1.2 billion (FY93/94 est.)

        machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food products

        Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia

    • External debt:
      $5.4 billion (FY93/94 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 4.9% (FY92/93 est.); accounts for 10% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        1,100,000 kW

        2.6 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        55 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      agricultural processing; textiles and footwear; wood and wood products; petroleum refining; mining of copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 65% of GDP and 65% of employment (including fishing, animal husbandry, and forestry); self-sufficient in food; principal crops - paddy rice, corn, oilseed, sugarcane, pulses; world's largest stand of hardwood trees; rice and timber account for 55% of export revenues

    • Illicit drugs:
      world's largest illicit producer of opium (2,030 metric tons in 1994 - dropped 21% due to regional drought in 1994) and minor producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; opium production continues to be almost double since the collapse of Rangoon's antinarcotic programs; growing role in amphetamine production for regional consumption

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $158 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $3.9 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $424 million

    • Currency:
      1 kyat (K) = 100 pyas

    • Exchange rates:
      kyats (K) per US$1 - 5.8640 (January 1995), 5.9749 (1994), 6.1570 (1993), 6.1045 (1992), 6.2837 (1991), 6.3386 (1990); unofficial - 120

    • Fiscal year:
      1 April - 31 March

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