Myanmar  

Quick Facts

Population 53 million (2017)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 328 billion (2017)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 6,139 (2017)

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In the area of agriculture, Myanmar is coordinating with its GMS partners to increase subregional agricultural trade, while joining efforts to improve food security, address rising energy costs, and develop its production of agri-food products.

Myanmar is one of the GMS countries most vulnerable to climate change, and is working with its subregional partners to increase its climate resilience.

Myanmar has substantial energy resources that could support the expansion of commercial energy production. The government seeks to address climate change concerns by promoting the use of alternative fuels in households, promoting wider use of new and renewable energy sources, and promoting energy efficiency and conservation. Cross-border power connections with GMS neighbors are being developed for the export of hydropower.

Nearly half of Myanmar is covered in forests, and the country enjoys large freshwater and marine resources. The country is a biodiversity hotspot with more than 1,000 bird species and 7,000 different types of plants. Myanmar is working to increase forest protection, and coordinate with its GMS partners on subregional initiatives involving the environment.

In the area of human resource development, Myanmar is working to improve access to education in border areas with vocational training schools, including those specifically serving women. The country is also working with its GMS partners on social protection for children, anti-trafficking initiatives, control of malaria and other communicable diseases, and safe labor migration. Increasing the accessibility to both basic and higher education is a national government goal, as is greater information exchange with GMS partner countries.

Myanmar is modernizing and improving its telecommunications and information communications technology systems. This includes programs for improving international exchange links, and developing rural communications systems. The Government is working to reduce the digital divide and to establish connectivity nationwide.

Myanmar is promoting tourism that generates foreign exchange, creates jobs, and contributes to poverty reduction. The country’s attractions include the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and Bagan, known as the land of a thousand pagodas. Inlay Lake and Mandalay are also important attractions for visitors. Myanmar cooperates in subregional tourism working groups that facilitate the sharing of expertise with GMS neighbors. Myanmar’s private sector is undergoing dramatic changes. Studies are underway to examine how best to support the development of trade and investment in order to spread its benefits to the poor and vulnerable.

Regulatory reforms that promote private sector investment are being undertaken, and investments are being considered in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and other sectors. Myanmar is seeking to expand its trade with GMS partners. Myanmar is an important GMS transport link to South Asia.

The government has recognized the importance of improving its domestic transport network, including roads that connect to the subregional corridors. The country also has an extensive rail network, an important deep water port, and a domestic river transport network.

ADB and Myanmar: Fact Sheet

The Bago-Kyaikto expressway will link to the Yangon-Mandalay highway (in picture). Photo by ALwinDigital (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Myanmar Approves Proposed ADB Loan for the Bago–Kyaikto Highway along GMS’ EWEC

Myanmar’s Union Parliament approved a proposed loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) worth around $483.8 million to finance construction of the Bago–Kyaikto highway. The Bago–Kyaikto highway lies along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) East–West Economic Corridor (EWEC), which links Myanmar to Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Viet Nam, and Myanmar’s Thilawa Port in Yangon to Viet Nam’s Danang Port.

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Bagan, Myanmar. Photo: Piktour UK via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Myanmar Releases Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery

The Government of Myanmar released a Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery that aims to establish ‘new normal’ conditions to help tourism make  a comeback.  

Mr. Ohn Maung, Union Minister of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, provided guidelines for implementation of the plan. It includes three phases:  

Survival 

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Photo: Rajesh_India/ Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Travel Bubbles Proposed to Kickstart Tourism in the Region

‘Travel bubbles’ are being considered by Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar and Thailand, as a means to safely resume travel activities. Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group recommended creating travel bubbles to kickstart regional tourism in the absence of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in their meeting in May.

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Officials view trolley robots donated by the Ministry of Education while smaller photo shows a drone with a loud speaker. Photo: Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar Universities Invent Robots that Reduce Contact between Health Workers and COVID-19 Patients

Robots are helping keep medical workers in Myanmar safer and lowering the risk of further spreading the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by reducing contact with COVID-19 and COVID-19-suspected patients.  

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GMS Supports Lower Mekong Countries in Rapid Delivery of Essential Medical Equipment

As the region works to overcome the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the GMS Health Security Project is supporting reinforcement of public health security and readiness of health systems in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam, to face the threats of COVID-19.

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Lao PDR and Myanmar to Work on a New Cooperation Master Plan

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Myanmar will explore opportunities to enhance tourism cooperation through bilateral and multilateral frameworks. This was agreed by the two countries at the 12th Meeting of Myanmar-Laos Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 6 March 2020. 

Lao PDR and Myanmar aim to create a new cooperation master plan. Tourism could help promote each other’s rich culture and heritage and bring their people together.  

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The Nam Theun 2 is a 1070 MW hydropower plant on Nam Theun river in Lao PDR. 95% of the power produced by the plant is exported to Thailand and the rest are consumed locally. Revenues from the power plant are used by the government of Lao PDR to help reduce poverty in the country. Photo: ADB

Lao PDR Highlights Dam Safety as Electricity Export Grows

As the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) increases its electricity exports, the country is prioritizing safety improvement of its dams. A committee comprising local and foreign experts will conduct dam safety inspections, according to news by the Laotian Times. The Government is also implementing new safety measures and standards.

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Car usage is on the rise in Yangon causing much traffic congestion in the city. Photo: ADB

Improving Connectivity of Myanmar’s Yangon Region along the East-West Economic Corridor

Plans are underway to connect Yangon in Myanmar with the Bago Region and Mon State through new expressways along the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS) East-West Economic Corridor. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide financing assistance to build more efficient highways that will promote safer movement of goods and people. 

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Myawaddy-Mae Sot border crossing. Photo: Go-Myanmar via Wikimedia, shared under CC BY-SA 3.0

Myanmar, Thailand Sign MoU to Boost Cross-border Trade

The Governments of Thailand and Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve immigration checkpoint and logistics clearances for cross-border trade in the Mae Sot (Thailand) and Myawaddy (Myanmar) checkpoint. The signing took place at the 23rd Ministerial Conference of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program.

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Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge linking Mae Sot, Thailand with Myawaddy, Myanmar. Photo: Lerdsuwa via Wikimedia, shared under CC BY-SA 3.0

Second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to Stimulate Cross-border Trade

The Governments of Thailand and Myanmar officially opened the second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to traffic on 30 October 2019 in Tak province, Mae Sot district, Thailand. The bridge crosses over the Moei river, and connects the Mae Sot District of Thailand with Myawaddy in Myanmar.   

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