BURMA








Burma is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand. The capital of Burma is Rangoon. Burma’s flag is red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing, all in white with 14 five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk of rice. The 14 stars represent the 14 administrative divisions. The total area of Burma is 678,500 sq km. Burma is slightly smaller than Texas.


The climate in Burma consists of tropical monsoons. It’s cloudy, rainy, hot, Burma has humid summers which last from June to September. Between the months of December and April the climate tends to be less cloudy, with scant rainfall, mild temperatures, and lower humidity.


Burma has many natural resources such as petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, and hydropower. Some natural hazards in Burma are destructive earthquakes and cyclones, flooding and landslides which are common during rainy season (June to September) and they have periodic droughts.


A few environmental issues in Burma are deforestation, industrial pollution of air, soil, and water, inadequate sanitation and water treatment which contribute to disease in Burma.


Burma has many of the same communications modes as any other country. Citizens have telephones, celluar phones, radios, and televisions. Currently Burma has no internet service providers. Railways, highways, waterways, ports, harbors, airports, and heliports make up Burma’s transportation.


SOCI-CULTURAL CONDITIONS IN BURMA


Socio-cultural conditions in Burma consist of the population, birth and death rates, infant mortality rates, life expectancy at birth, ethnic groups, religions, and languages. The population in Burma is 41,734,853. The estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS. AIDS can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected. The birth rate in Burma is 20.61 births/1,000 population. The death rate is 12.35 deaths/1,000 population. The infant mortality rate is 75.3 deaths/1,000 live births.


Life expectancy at birth of the total population is 54.91 years. When you separate that figure into two groups, male and female, you get a different breakdown. The life expectancy of males in Burma at birth is 53.6 years and the life expectancy ai birth for females is 56.29 years. There are seven known ethnic groups in Burma which are Burman (68%), Shan (9%), Karen (7%), Rakhine (4%), Chinese (3%), Mon (2%), Indian(2%). For those ethnic groups that are not known they are represented by “other” (5%). There many existant religions in Burma such as Buddhist (89%), Christian (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1% which gives a total of 4%), Muslim (4%), animist (1%), other (2%). Burmese is the official language of Burma but there are some minority ethnic groups that have their own language.


THE ECONOMY OF BURMA


Burma has a mixed economy with private activity dominant in agriculture, light industry, and transport, and with substantial state-controlled activity, mainly in energy, heavy industry, and the rice trade. Government policy in the last 11 years, 1989-99, has aimed at revitalizing the economy after three decades of tight central planning. Thus, private activity has markedly increased; foreign investment has been encouraged, so far with moderate success. State enterprises remain highly inefficient and privatization efforts have stalled. 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. Burma remains a poor Asian country and living standards for the majority have not improved over the past decade. The short-term outlook is for continued sluggish growth because of poor government planning, internal unrest, minimal foreign investment, and the large trade deficit. Below is a breakdown of the economic status in Burma.


GDP purchasing power parity


$59.4 billion


GDP - real growth rate


4.6%


GDP - per capita


purchasing power parity - $1,200


Population below poverty line


23%


Labor force


19.7 million


Labor force - by occupation


agriculture (65%), industry (10%), services (25%)


Unemployment rate


7.1%


Industries


agricultural processing; textiles and footwear; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer


Agriculture - products


paddy rice, corn, oilseed, sugarcane, pulses; hardwood


Exports


$1.2 billion


Exports - commodities


pulses and beans,