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Burma (2004)

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Burma 2004 year

Administrative divisions 7 divisions (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne)

divisions: Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, Yangon (Rangoon)

states: Chin State, Kachin State, Kayin State, Kayah State, Mon State, Rakhine State, Shan State
Age structure 0-14 years: 27.6% (male 6,023,874; female 5,774,055)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 14,317,308; female 14,504,500)

65 years and over: 4.9% (male 927,570; female 1,172,889) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products
Airports 79 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 9

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 69

over 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 20

under 914 m: 31 (2004 est.)
Area total: 678,500 sq km

land: 657,740 sq km

water: 20,760 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Texas
Background Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and is currently under house arrest. In December 2004, the junta announced it was extending her detention for at least an additional year. Her supporters, as well as all those who promote democracy and improved human rights, are routinely harassed or jailed.
Birth rate 18.64 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $7.9 billion

expenditures: $12.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.7 billion (FY96/97)
Capital Rangoon (government refers to the capital as Yangon)
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)
Coastline 1,930 km
Constitution 3 January 1974 (suspended since 18 September 1988); national convention convened in 1993 to draft a new constitution but collapsed in 1996; reconvened in 2004 but does not include participation of democratic opposition
Country name conventional long form: Union of Burma

conventional short form: Burma

local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar)

local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw

former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma

note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; this decision was not approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and the US Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw
Currency kyat (MMK)
Death rate 12.16 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $6.011 billion (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Carmen M. MARTINEZ

embassy: 581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521)

mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546

telephone: [95] (1) 379 880, 379 881

FAX: [95] (1) 256 018
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: vacant

chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-9044

FAX: [1] (202) 332-9046

consulate(s) general: New York (UN)
Disputes - international despite continuing border committee talks, significant differences remain with Thailand over boundary alignment and the handling of ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; groups in Burma and Thailand express concern over China's construction of 13 hydroelectric dams on the Salween River in Yunnan Province; India seeks cooperation from Burma to keep out Indian Nagaland insurgents
Economic aid - recipient $127 million (2001 est.)
Economy - overview Burma is a resource-rich country that suffers from government controls and abject rural poverty. The military regime took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize the economy after decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism", but those efforts have since stalled. Burma has been unable to achieve monetary or fiscal stability, resulting in an economy that suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances - including a steep inflation rate and an official exchange rate that overvalues the Burmese kyat by more than 100 times the market rate. In addition, most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta suppressed the democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently ignored the results of the 1990 election. A crisis in the private banking sector in early 2003 followed by economic moves against Burma by the United States, the European Union, and Japan - including a US ban on imports from Burma and a Japanese freeze on new bilateral economic aid - further weakened the Burmese economy. Burma is data poor, and official statistics are often dated and inaccurate. Published estimates of Burma's foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the black market and border trade - often estimated to be one to two times the official economy. Better relations with foreign countries and relaxed controls at home are needed to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism. In February 2003, a major banking crisis hit the country's 20 private banks, shutting them down and disrupting the economy. In July and August 2003, the United States imposed a ban on all Burmese imports and a ban on provision of financial services, hampering Burma's ability to obtain foreign exchange. As of January 2004, the largest private banks remained moribund, leaving the private sector with little formal access to credit outside of government contracts.
Electricity - consumption 5.709 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 6.139 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Andaman Sea 0 m

highest point: Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m
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
Ethnic groups Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%
Exchange rates kyats per US dollar - 6.0764 (2003), 6.5734 (2002), 6.6841 (2001), 6.5167 (2000), 6.2858 (1999)

note: these are official exchange rates; unofficial exchange rates ranged in 2003 from 100 kyat/US dollar to nearly 1000 kyat/US dollar
Executive branch chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992)

head of government: Prime Minister, Gen SOE WIN (since 19 October 2004)

cabinet: State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); military junta, so named 15 November 1997, which initially assumed power 18 September 1988 under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); the SPDC oversees the cabinet

elections: none
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $2.434 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports 5.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities Clothing, gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice
Exports - partners Thailand 31.5%, US 10.2%, India 9.3%, China 5.8%, Japan 4.8% (2003)
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
Flag description red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing, 14 white five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk of rice; the 14 stars represent the 7 administrative divisions and 7 states
GDP purchasing power parity - $74.53 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 57.2%

industry: 9.6%

services: 33.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -0.5% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 22 00 N, 98 00 E
Geography - note strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes
Heliports 1 (2003 est.)
Highways total: 28,200 km

paved: 3,440 km

unpaved: 24,760 km (1996 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
Illicit drugs world's second largest producer of illicit opium (potential production in 2003 - 484 metric tons, down 23% due to eradication efforts and alternate development; cultivation in 2003 - 47,130 hectares, a 39% decline from 2002); surrender of drug warlord KHUN SA's Mong Tai Army in January 1996 was hailed by Rangoon as a major counternarcotics success, but lack of government will and ability 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; currently under Financial Action Task Force countermeasures due to continued failure to address its inadequate money-laundering controls
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $2.071 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities Fabric, petroleum products, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, crude oil; food products
Imports - partners China 31.1%, Singapore 22.3%, Thailand 15.1%, South Korea 6.3%, Malaysia 4.8%, Japan 4.3% (2003)
Independence 4 January 1948 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA
Industries agricultural processing; knit and woven apparel; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; cement
Infant mortality rate total: 68.78 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 74.78 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 62.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 49.7% (2003 est.)
International organization participation ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 15,920 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent of the executive
Labor force 22.14 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 70%, industry 7%, services 23% (2001 est.)
Land boundaries total: 5,876 km

border countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km
Land use arable land: 15.19%

permanent crops: 0.97%

other: 83.84% (2001)
Languages Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Legal system has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never allowed by junta to convene

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NLD 392 (opposition), SNLD 23 (opposition), NUP 10 (pro-government), other 60
Life expectancy at birth total population: 56.01 years

male: 54.22 years

female: 57.9 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 85.3%

male: 89.2%

female: 81.4% (2002)
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand
Map references Southeast Asia
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
Merchant marine total: 31 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 384,529 GRT/608,609 DWT

by type: bulk 8, cargo 18, container 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: Germany 6, Japan 4 (2004 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $39 million (FY97)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.1% (FY97)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 12,450,884

females age 15-49: 12,457,077 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 6,609,995

females age 15-49: 6,595,611 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 441,333

females: 440,914 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)
Nationality noun: Burmese (singular and plural)

adjective: Burmese
Natural hazards destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
Natural resources petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
Net migration rate -1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines gas 2,056 km; oil 558 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary]; National Unity Party or NUP (progovernment) [THA KYAW]; Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [KHUN HTUN OO]; and other smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders 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 parallel government in exile); Kachin Independence Army or KIA; Karen National Union or KNU; several Shan factions; United Wa State Army or UWSA; Union Solidarity and Development Association or USDA (progovernment, a social and political organization) [THAN AUNG, general secretary]
Population 42,720,196

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 and death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 25% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 0.47% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Bhamo, Chauk, Mandalay, Moulmein, Myitkyina, Pathein, Rangoon, Sittwe, Tavoy
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 1 (2004)
Railways total: 3,955 km

narrow gauge: 3,955 km 1.000-m gauge (2003)
Religions Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: barely meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government; international service is fair

domestic: NA

international: country code - 95; satellite earth station - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean), and ShinSat
Telephones - main lines in use 357,300 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 66,500 (2003)
Television broadcast stations 2 (2004)
Terrain central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands
Total fertility rate 2.08 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 4.2% (2003)
Waterways 12,800 km (2004)
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