|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.
The 10th Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV) Summit, held on 9 December, emphasized enhancing effective connectivity for regional integration.
Leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam adopted the Phnom Penh declaration at the 9th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held on 9 December. The declaration emphasizes post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and enhanced supply chains. ACMECS leaders stressed the importance of vaccine multilateralism to ensure equitable and safe access to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $483.8 million loan to build a 64-kilometer (km) expressway connecting the capital of Bago region and the township of Kyaikto in Mon state in Myanmar and support economic development along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) East–West Economic Corridor.
Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) economic ministers endorsed the CLMV Action Plan 2021-2022 focusing on (i) trade and investment cooperation, (ii) implementation of regional commitments, (iii) pandemic recovery plan, (iv) Framework for CLMV Development, and (v) human resource development.
The Myanmar Government unveiled plans to develop a bigger and better connected special economic zone (SEZ) located in Mon State at a virtual Myanmar-Japan Investment Dialogue held on 29 July 2020. The strategically located SEZ will connect both the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, and the Thilawa SEZ in Myanmar to Viet Nam’s Da Nang SEZ via the Greater Mekong Subregion’s East-West Economic Corridor. Plans for the new SEZ also include the construction of deep-sea port facilities.
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.
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.
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.
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. Thailand and Myanmar officially opened the second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to traffic on 30 October 2019.