Agriculture, mainly livestock and fishing, is the largest single sector of Myanmar’s
economy; however, it still relies on traditional non-mechanised
means. Rice, for the most part, the major export income,
has declined in importance in line with the steadily
condition of the world market in the products that are bought and sold. Teak wood
is Myanmar’s other
principal export (most of it felled and
traded unlawfully). Additional crops are oil seeds, cotton, sugar
cane, rubber and jute.
Myanmar features rich
deposits of copper, tin, zinc, silver, gemstones and coal: trading
exploitation has started recently. Though the country’s oil
production, never substantial, has been declining over the past
ten years, there are thoughts to be large quantities of
of both oil and gas in Myanmar's land. Gas produced in Myanmar satisfies
about half of the country’s energy requirements; hydroelectric power
covers most of the rest.
A great variety of manufactured products are locally assembled
but most of it is imported. Otherwise, the country’s industrial
sector is mainly
processing locally produced raw
Additional main sources of earnings are opium
trafficking and gemstone mining, both are chiefly controlled
by the military government and are primarily used to finance
arms purchases. There are few
economic statistics for the country;
2002 inflation was estimated to be at 26%.
Following years of political isolation, Myanmar gained ASEAN
membership in July 1997. The Government has attempted to
attract the interest from foreign investment companies by easing its
on trading activity. However, most possible investors are
put off by the government’s appalling human rights record
and the prospect of widespread international opprobrium.
The economic future of Myanmar relies mainly upon political
Lightweight suits are normally worn by day and jackets are required for
formal meetings. Most commercial business is carried out in English.
Business cards in Burmese language are recommended.
The ideal time to visit Myanmar is between October and February.
hours: Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
There are more than 20 Government Corporations dealing with
all aspects of business. The Inspection and Agency Corporation
foreign companies in business. For more details, contact the commercial section of the Embassy (see