Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometers forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Myanmar has been under military control since a coup d'état in 1962, however, since 2011, military control has been increasingly loosened. This has allowed the country's foreign relationships to improve rapidly, especially with the United States (U.S.), Japan and the European Union (EU). As such, trade and other sanctions imposed on Myanmar by the U.S. and EU have now been eased, leading way for another dynamic economy to develop in Southeast Asia.
The country is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia due to decades of stagnation, mismanagement, isolation and a lack of an educated workforce skilled in modern technology. The country lacks adequate infrastructure with goods travelling primarily across the Thai border and along the Irrawaddy River. Railways are old and ragged, highways are unpaved and energy shortages are common (only about 25 percent of the country's population has electricity).
Myanmar produces precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, pearls, and jade. Myanmar also has vast reserve of natural gas and oil, which has attracted the attention of energy consuming giants such as China, India and the U.S. Other industries include agricultural goods, textiles, wood products, construction materials, and metals.
Myanmar's imports include fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, cement, construction materials, crude oil, food products and edible oil. It's exports include natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing and gems.
Major export partners of Myanmar are Thailand (36.7 percent), China (18.8 percent), India (14.1 percent) and Japan (6.6 percent). Major import partners are China (38.8 percent), Thailand (22.6 percent), Singapore (9.7 percent), South Korea (5.4 percent), Malaysia (4.5 percent) and Japan (4.1 percent).