Burma

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Various ethnic Burmese and ethnic minority city-states or kingdoms occupied the present borders through the 19th century. Over a period of 62 years (1824-1886), Britain conquered Burma and incorporated the country into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; in 1948, Burma attained independence from the British Commonwealth. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. In response to widespread civil unrest, NE WIN resigned in 1988, but within months the military crushed student-led protests and took power.

Multiparty legislative elections in 1990 resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory. Instead of handing over power, the junta placed NLD leader (and Nobel Peace Prize recipient) AUNG SAN SUU KYI under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, 2000 to 2002, and from May 2003 to November 2010. In late September 2007, the ruling junta brutally suppressed protests over increased fuel prices led by prodemocracy activists and Buddhist monks, killing at least 13 people and arresting thousands for participating in the demonstrations. In early May 2008, Burma was struck by Cyclone Nargis, which left over 138,000 dead and tens of thousands injured and homeless. Despite this tragedy, the junta proceeded with its May constitutional referendum, the first vote in Burma since 1990. Legislative elections held in November 2010, considered flawed by many in the international community, saw the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party garner over 75% of the seats.

The national legislature convened in January 2011 and selected former Prime Minister THEIN SEIN as president. Although the vast majority of national-level appointees named by THEIN SEIN are former or current military officers, the government initiated a series of political and economic reforms leading to a substantial opening of the long-isolated country. These reforms included releasing hundreds of political prisoners, concluding negotiations on a draft nationwide cease-fire with the country's various ethnic armed groups, pursuing legal reform, and gradually reducing restrictions on freedom of the press, association, and civil society. At least due in part to these reforms, AUNG SAN SUU KYI was elected to the national legislature in April 2012 and became chair of the Committee for Rule of Law and Tranquility. In a flawed but largely credible national legislative election in November 2015 featuring more than 90 political parties, the NLD again won a landslide victory. Burma served as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2014.

Geography

Location

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand

Geographic coordinates

22.00° N, 98.00° E

Area 40/257

total: 676,578 sq km

land: 653,508 sq km

water: 23,070 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries

total: 6,522 km

border countries (5): Bangladesh 271 km, China 2,129 km, India 1,468 km, Laos 238 km, Thailand 2,416 km

Coastline

1,930 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April)

Terrain

central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Andaman Sea/Bay of Bengal 0 m

highest point: Gamlang Razi 5,870 m

Natural resources

petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 19.2%

arable land 16.5%; permanent crops 2.2%; permanent pasture 0.5%

forest: 48.2%

other: 32.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

22,950 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

1,168 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 33.23 cu km/yr (10%/1%/89%)

per capita: 728.6 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts

Environment - current issues

deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Burmese (singular and plural)

adjective: Burmese

Ethnic groups

Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%

Languages

Burmese (official)

note: minority ethnic groups have their own languages

Religions

Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, Animist 1%, other 2%

Population 25/238

56,320,206

note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.07% (male 7,485,419/female 7,194,500)

15-24 years: 18.02% (male 5,138,185/female 5,009,470)

25-54 years: 43.31% (male 12,132,302/female 12,261,750)

55-64 years: 7.24% (male 1,919,725/female 2,157,789)

65 years and over: 5.36% (male 1,313,711/female 1,707,355) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 49.1%

youth dependency ratio: 41.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 8%

potential support ratio: 12.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28.3 years

male: 27.7 years

female: 28.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 116/233

1.01% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 97/224

18.39 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 101/225

7.96 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 124/222

-0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 34.1% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 2.49% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

RANGOON (Yangon) (capital) 4.802 million; Mandalay 1.167 million; Nay Pyi Taw 1.03 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.8 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 54/184

178 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 48/224

total: 43.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 49.84 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 36.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 171/224

total population: 66.29 years

male: 63.89 years

female: 68.82 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 102/224

2.16 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

46% (2009/10)

Health expenditures 191/191

1.8% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.61 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 92.7% of population

rural: 74.4% of population

total: 80.6% of population

unimproved:

urban: 7.3% of population

rural: 25.6% of population

total: 19.4% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 84.3% of population

rural: 73.9% of population

total: 77.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 15.7% of population

rural: 26.1% of population

total: 22.6% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.69% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

212,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

10,100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 172/191

2.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 27/138

22.6% (2010)

Education expenditures 172/173

0.8% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: NA

female: NA (2007)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Union of Burma

conventional short form: Burma

local long form: Pyidaungzu Thammada Myanma Naingngandaw (translated as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar)

local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw

former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, Union of Myanmar

note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma and the current parliamentary government have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; the US Government has not adopted the name

etymology: both Burma and Myanmar derive from the name of the majority Burmese Bamar ethnic group

Government type

parliamentary government took power in March 2011

Capital

name: Rangoon (Yangon); note - Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital

geographic coordinates: 16.48° N, 96.09° E

time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

7 regions (taing-myar, singular - taing), 7 states (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne), 1 union territory

regions: Ayeyawady (Irrawaddy), Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Taninthayi, Yangon (Rangoon)

states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine (Arakan), Shan

union territory: Nay Pyi Taw

Independence

4 January 1948 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)

Constitution

previous 1947, 1974 (suspended until 2008); latest approved by referendum 29 May 2008 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law (as introduced in codifications designed for colonial India) and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Burma

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: none

note: an applicant for naturalization must be the child or spouse of a citizen

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President THEIN SEIN (since 4 February 2011); Vice Presidents SAI MAUK KHAM (since 3 February 2011), NYAN TUN (since 15 August 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President THEIN SEIN (since 4 February 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet appointments shared by the president and the commander-in-chief

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the legislature's Presidential Electoral College from among 3 vice presidential nominees - 1 each from the Upper House, the Lower House, and military members of the legislature (president elected for a 5-year term); note - the next president will be elected in February 2016

election results: president (pending); Presidential Electoral College vote NA

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Assembly of the Union or Pyidaungsu consists of an upper house - the House of Nationalities or Amyotha Hluttaw, (224 seats; 168 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed and 56 appointed by the military; members serve 5-year terms) and a lower house - the House of Representatives or Pyithu Hluttaw, (440 seats; 330 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 110 appointed by the military; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 8 November 2015 (next to be held in 2020)

election results: Upper House - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NLD 135, USDP 11, ANP 10, SNLD 3, ZCD 2, TNP 2, independent 2, other 3, military appointees 56; Lower House - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NLD 255, USDP 30, ANP 12, SNLD 12, PNO 3, TNP 3, ZCD 2, LNDP 2, independent 1, other 3, canceled due to insurgence 7, military appointees 110

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Union (consists of the chief justice and 7-11 judges)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice and judges nominated by the president, with approval of the Lower House, and appointed by the president; judges normally serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: High Courts of the Region; High Courts of the State; Court of the Self-Administered Division; Court of the Self-Administered Zone; district and township courts; special courts (for juvenile, municipal, and traffic offenses); courts martial

Political parties and leaders

All Mon Region Democracy Party or AMRDP [NAING NGWE THEIN]

Arakan National Party or ANP [Dr. AYE MAUNG] (formed from the 2013 merger of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party and the Arakan League for Democracy)

National Democratic Force or NDF [KHIN MAUNG SWE]

National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SAN SUU KYI]

National Unity Party or NUP [THAN TIN]

Pa-O National Organization or PNO [AUNG KHAN HTI]

Shan Nationalities Democratic Party or SNDP [SAI AIK PAUNG]

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [KHUN HTUN OO]

Ta'ang National Party or TNP [AIK MONE]

Union Solidarity and Development Party or USDP [HTAY OO]

Zomi Congress for Democracy or ZCD [PU CIN SIAN THANG]

numerous smaller parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Thai border: Ethnic Nationalities Council or ENC

Federation of Trade Unions-Burma or FTUB (exile trade union and labor advocates)

National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB (self-proclaimed government in exile) ["Prime Minister" Dr. SEIN WIN] consists of individuals, some legitimately elected to the People's Assembly in 1990 (the group fled to a border area and joined insurgents in December 1990 to form a parallel government in exile)

National Council-Union of Burma or NCUB (exile coalition of opposition groups)

United Nationalities Federal Council or UNFC

inside Burma: Kachin Independence Organization

Karen National Union or KNU

Karenni National People's Party or KNPP

United Wa State Army or UWSA

88 Generation Students (pro-democracy movement)

several other Chin, Karen, Mon, and Shan factions

note: freedom of expression has been highly restricted in Burma; the restrictions are being relaxed by the government; a limited number of political groups, other than parties are approved by the government

International organization participation

ADB, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description

design consists of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow (top), green, and red; centered on the green band is a large white five-pointed star that partially overlaps onto the adjacent colored stripes; the design revives the triband colors used by Burma from 1943-45, during the Japanese occupation

National symbol(s)

chinthe (mythical lion); national colors: yellow, green, red, white

National anthem

name: "Kaba Ma Kyei" (Till the End of the World, Myanmar)

lyrics/music: SAYA TIN

note: adopted 1948; Burma is among a handful of non-European nations that have anthems rooted in indigenous traditions; the beginning portion of the anthem is a traditional Burmese anthem before transitioning into a Western-style orchestrated work

Economy

Economy - overview

Since the transition to a civilian government in 2011, Burma has begun an economic overhaul aimed at attracting foreign investment and reintegrating into the global economy. Economic reforms have included establishing a managed float of the Burmese kyat in 2012, re-writing the Foreign Investment Law in 2012 to allow more foreign investment participation, granting the Central Bank operational independence in July 2013, enacting a new Anti-corruption Law in September 2013, and authorizing a small number of foreign banks to open branch offices for limited operations beginning in 2015.

The government’s commitment to reform, and the subsequent easing of most Western sanctions, has begun to pay dividends as growth accelerated in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 growth slowed because of political uncertainty in an election year, summer floods, and external factors, including China’s slowdown and lower commodity prices. Burma’s abundant natural resources, young labor force, and proximity to Asia’s dynamic economies have attracted foreign investment in the energy sector, garment industry, information technology, and food and beverages. Pledged foreign direct investment grew from $1.4 billion in FY 2012 to $4.1 billion in FY 2013.

Despite these improvements, living standards have not improved for the majority of the people residing in rural areas. Burma remains one of the poorest countries in Asia – nearly one-third of the country’s 51 million people live in poverty. The previous government’s isolationist policies and economic mismanagement have left Burma with poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, underdeveloped human resources, and inadequate access to capital, which will require a major commitment to reverse. The Burmese government has been slow to address impediments to economic development such as insecure land rights, a restrictive trade licensing system, an opaque revenue collection system, and an antiquated banking system. The newly elected government, led by AUNG SAN SUU KYI will likely focus on modernizing and opening the financial sector, increasing budget allocations for social services, and accelerating agricultural and land reforms.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 58/230

$267.7 billion (2015 est.)

$246.8 billion (2014 est.)

$227.5 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$65.78 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 7/225

8.5% (2015 est.)

8.5% (2014 est.)

8.4% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 165/230

$5,200 (2015 est.)

$4,800 (2014 est.)

$4,400 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 106/179

16.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

19.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

17.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 76.8%

government consumption: 3.9%

investment in fixed capital: 21%

investment in inventories: 0.3%

exports of goods and services: 31.7%

imports of goods and services: -33.7%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 36.1%

industry: 22.3%

services: 41.6% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; fish and fish products; hardwood

Industries

agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; oil and natural gas; garments, jade, gems

Industrial production growth rate 3/202

12.2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 18/233

36.18 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 70%

industry: 7%

services: 23% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate 52/207

5% (2015 est.)

5.1% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

32.7% (2007 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)

Budget

revenues: $2.682 billion

expenditures: $4.471 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 215/219

4.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 97/220

-2.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 205/226

9.2% (2015 est.)

5.5% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 22/156

9.95% (31 December 2010)

12% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 56/184

13% (31 December 2015 est.)

13% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 71/192

$13.47 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$14.07 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 91/191

$15.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$16.91 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 171/197

-$5.867 billion (2015 est.)

-$3.851 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 90/224

$9.752 billion (2015 est.)

$8.962 billion (2014 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

Exports - commodities

natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems

Exports - partners

China 63%, Thailand 15.8%, India 5.7% (2014)

Imports 89/223

$12.64 billion (2015 est.)

$12.17 billion (2014 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

Imports - commodities

fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment; cement, construction materials, crude oil; food products, edible oil

Imports - partners

China 42.4%, Thailand 19%, Singapore 10.9%, Japan 5.4% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 77/170

$9.417 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$8.727 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 121/206

$6.616 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$7.367 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

kyats (MMK) per US dollar -

1,171.8 (2015 est.)

984.35 (2014 est.)

984.35 (2013 est.)

853.48 (2012 est.)

815 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 95/220

10.48 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 101/219

7.765 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 110/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 124/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 86/214

3.591 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 188/214

24.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 55/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 20/214

75.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 159/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 72/214

20,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 77/214

2,717 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 84/214

40 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 79/215

50 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 99/214

15,780 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 120/212

25,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 158/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 142/213

8,557 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 37/216

13.1 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 61/215

4.6 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 24/215

8.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 166/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 38/212

283.2 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 93/212

13.34 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 96/219

total subscriptions: 530,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 47/217

total: 26.6 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government

domestic: system barely capable of providing basic service; mobile-cellular phone system is grossly underdeveloped

international: country code - 95; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and ShinSat (2011)

Broadcast media

government controls all domestic broadcast media; 2 state-controlled TV stations with 1 of the stations controlled by the armed forces; 2 pay-TV stations are joint state-private ventures; access to satellite TV is limited; 1 state-controlled domestic radio station and 9 FM stations that are joint state-private ventures; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in parts of Burma; the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA), BBC Burmese service, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), and Radio Australia use shortwave to broadcast in Burma; VOA, RFA, and DVB produce daily TV news programs that are transmitted by satellite to audiences in Burma

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 3 (2007)

Television broadcast stations

4 (2008)

Internet country code

.mm

Internet hosts 172/232

1,055 (2012)

Internet users 128/217

total: 646,700

percent of population: 1.2% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 76/236

64 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 36

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 28

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 13 (2013)

Heliports

11 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 3,739 km; oil 551 km (2013)

Railways 36/136

total: 5,031 km

narrow gauge: 5,031 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways 93/223

total: 34,377 km (includes 358 km of expressways) (2010)

Waterways 10/107

12,800 km (2011)

Merchant marine 86/156

total: 29

by type: cargo 22, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 3, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1

foreign-owned: 2 (Germany 1, Japan 1)

registered in other countries: 3 (Panama 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Moulmein, Sittwe

river port(s): Rangoon (Yangon) (Rangoon River)

Military and Security

Military branches

Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army (Tatmadaw Kyi), Navy (Tatmadaw Yay), Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age (men) and 18-27 years of age (women) for voluntary military service; no conscription (a 2010 law reintroducing conscription has not yet entered into force); 2-year service obligation; male (ages 18-45) and female (ages 18-35) professionals (including doctors, engineers, mechanics) serve up to 3 years; service terms may be stretched to 5 years in an officially declared emergency; Burma signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 15 August 1991; on 27 June 2012, the regime signed a Joint Action Plan on prevention of child recruitment; in February 2013, the military formed a new task force to address forced child conscription; approximately 600 children have been released from military service since the signing of the joint action plan (2015)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries; the Naf River on the border with Bangladesh serves as a smuggling and illegal transit route; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 29,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Arakan State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities are constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border with Bangladesh in 2010; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; fencing along the India-Burma international border at Manipur's Moreh town is in progress to check illegal drug trafficking and movement of militants; over 90,000 mostly Karen refugees and asylum seekers fleeing civil strife, political upheaval, and economic stagnation in Burma were living in remote camps in Thailand near the border as of year-end 2013

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: up to 662,400 (government offensives against armed ethnic minority groups near its borders with China and Thailand) (2015)

stateless persons: 1.45 million (2014); note - Rohingya Muslims, living in Rakhine State, are Burma's main group of stateless people; the Burmese Government does not recognize the Rohingya as a "national race" and stripped them of their citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship law, categorizing them as "non-national" or "foreign residents"; under the Rakhine State Action Plan drafted in October 2014, the Rohingya must demonstrate their family has lived in Burma for at least 60 years to qualify for a lesser naturalized citizenship and the classification of Bengali or be put in detention camps and face deportation; native-born but non-indigenous people, such as Indians, are also stateless; the Burmese Government does not grant citizenship to children born outside of the country to Burmese parents who left the country illegally or fled persecution, such as those born in Thailand

Illicit drugs

world's third largest producer of illicit opium with an estimated production in 2012 of 690 metric tons, an increase of 13% over 2011, and poppy cultivation in 2012 totaled 51,000 hectares, a 17% increase over 2011; production in the United Wa State Army's areas of greatest control remains low; Shan state is the source of 94.5% of Burma's poppy cultivation; lack of government will to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; major source of methamphetamine and heroin for regional consumption (2013)