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U.S. Commercial Guide to Burma (Dep

Subject: U.S. Commercial Guide to Burma (Dept. of State)

U.S. Department of State 
Burma Country Commercial Guide
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs

                     COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE
                        Burma (Myanmar)
                          JUNE 1995

Prepared by U.S. Embassy
Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar)

This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Burma's commercial environment through economic, political and market 

The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade
Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task
force, to consolidate various reporting documents prepared for
the U.S. business community.  Country Commercial Guides are
prepared annualy at U.S. Embassies through the combined efforts
of several U.S. governement agencies.  

Table of Contents

I.  Executive Summary

II. Economic Trends and Outlook
-Major Trends and Outlook
-Government Role in the Economy
-Economic Outlook
-1994/95 Economic Performance
-Principal Growth Sectors
   -- Agriculture
   -- Fisheries
   -- Forestry
-Fiscal and Monetary Developments
-Balance of Payments
-Infrastructure Situation
-Major Infrastructure Projects Underway

III. Political Environment
-Nature of Bilateral Relationship with the United States
-Major Political Issues Affecting Business Climate
-Brief Synopsis of Political System

IV.   Marketing U.S. Products and Services
-Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner
-Joint Ventures
-Steps to Establishing an Office: Registering as a Company
   --List of Newspapers
   --List of Economic Journals and Magazines
   --Advertising Agencies and Services
-Selling to the 
-Protecting Your Property from IPR Infringement
-Legal System
-Trade Fairs

V. Leading Trade Prospects for U.S. Business
-Petroleum and Natural Gas; Electricity Generation; Fertilizer; Methanol
-Agriculture and Agro-Industry
-Industrial Inputs
-Computer and Related Industries; Service and Maintenance
-Inputs to the Fisheries Industry
-Aviation, Shipping, Rail Transport
-Hydroelectric Power
-Wood-based Industries
-Consumer Goods
-Travel Industry
-Other Opportunities for U.S. Firms

VI.  Trade Regulations and Standards
-Barriers to Trade and Investment
-Trade Regulations                                   
-Tariffs and Import Taxes                              
-Customs Valuation                                   
-Import Licenses                                   
-Prohibited Imports                                   
-Export Controls                                   
-Import/Export Documentation                         
-Temporary Entry                                   
-Labeling, Marketing Requirements                    
-Free Trade Zones                                   
-Membership in Free Trade Arrangements               

VII. Investment Climate
-Openness to Foreign Investment
   --Government Attitude                         
   --Foreign Investment Law                         
   --Screening of Foreign Investment               
   --Investment Incentives                         
-Conversion and Transfer Policies
   --Non-Convertible and Overvalued Currency          
-Expropriation and Compensation                    
-Dispute Settlement                              
-Political Violence 
-Performance Requirements/Incentives               
-Right to Private Ownership and Establishment          
-Protection of Property Rights                         
-Regulatory System                                   
-OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs 
-Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment          
-Bilateral Investment Agreements               
-Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports                    
-Capital Outflow Policy                              
-Foreign Direct Investment
   --Type of Investment                              
   --Investment Flows                                 
     --Major Foreign Investors                         

VIII. Trade and Project Financing
-Description of Banking System                    
-Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trade               
-How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment          
-General Financing Availability                         
-List of Banks with Correspondent               
   --U.S. Banking Arrangements

IX.   Business Travel
-Business Customs
   -- Obtaining Appointments Government Officials
-International Connections                         
-Foreign Exchange Controls/Procedures               
-Ground Transportation                              
-Health and Food                                   

-Country Data                                   
   --Domestic Economy
   --Total Approved Foreign Investment
   --Government Budget as published in the
"Review of the Financial, Economic and Social Conditions"
   -- Balance of Payments     

Annex A: How to Register as a Company

Annex B: List of Travel Agencies (Selected)

Annex C: List of Hotels (Selected)

Annex D: Select List of Lawyers, Business Consultants,

       Business Associations, Shipping Lines/Agents,

       Local Business Contacts, Trade-Related

       Publications, Government Agencies 

The flood of consumer goods into Burma and nearly 400 percent increase 
in personal cars in six years attest to growing purchasing power among 
the Burmese.  New construction abounds in Rangoon, Mandalay and cities 
and towns that have benefited from the border trade boom with China and 
Thailand.  Although severely constrained by a lack of foreign exchange 
and access to multilateral financing, the government has launched 
ambitious programs to re-build Burma's crumbling infrastructure.  These 
programs include modernizing the telecommunications system, and building 
roads, bridges, international airports, irrigation and hydroelectric 
dams.  Burma's rapidly expanding private sector also provides 
opportunities for U.S. exports. Growing opportunities have brought a 
steady stream of trade and investment delegations, especially from Asia, 
but also from Europe.  U.S. companies are also increasingly travelling 
to Burma to investigate opportunities.
Traditionally, major U.S. exports have been specialized machinery and 
parts, and heavy construction equipment, mostly for the oil and gas 
sector.  Multi-national firms have made major finds of offshore natural 
gas, development of which will include building at least one pipeline to 
Thailand and an investment estimated at USD 1 billion.  Growing foreign 
investment in fisheries, mining, manufacturing, construction, hotels and 
other areas also provides potential customers for U.S. exporters.
Burma's main imports are industrial raw materials, machinery, spare 
parts and implements, construction materials, heavy equipment, capital 
equipment for industry, transport equipment, motor vehicles, electrical 
appliances and consumer goods including foodstuffs, electronics, 
textiles, medicines and pharmaceuticals.  Border trade brings in the 
full range of consumer items and small inputs for private industry.  
Many imports, including U.S. products, come via Singapore.  Officially  
registered imports in the 1994/95 fiscal year (April-March) were USD 1.6 
billion. This figure, however, counts only a portion of the imports 
entering through border trade. Most imports come from Japan, China, 
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and South Korea. 
According to U.S. data, officially registered imports directly from the 
United States were USD 11 million in 1994.

Foreign entrepreneurs say it has become easier to do business in Burma 
over the past two years as the government has streamlined commercial 
procedures somewhat, confirmed letters of credit have become an accepted 
way of doing business and private and government agencies have more 
foreign exchange to spend.  Although commercial regulations have been 
streamlined, many cumbersome restrictions remain including permits 
required for imports, exports and most other business activities.  Since 
the economy is in transition from a centrally planned to a market 
system, rules and regulations are subject to amendment with little or no 
advance notice, causing considerable confusion in the business 
community.  Corruption among public officials is a growing problem for 
businesses. Domestic and foreign firms tied to government officials 
through joint ventures, shareholdings, personal connections or other 
means receive preferential access to scarce materials and are able to 
bypass government procedures that tie up commerce for other private 
sector firms. Poor infrastructure is a major impediment to distribution 
of goods and services.  Due to the inadequacy of its narcotics 
suppression efforts and serious abuse of human rights, Burma has been 
unable to obtain multilateral financial assistance and receives only 
limited bilateral aid.  The U.S. EXIM bank does not have an active loan 
program for Burma. 

Ad hoc economic reforms have expanded the private sector and brought 
economic growth, but have been insufficient to stabilize the economy and 
provide a firm basis for sustained economic development.  The lack of 
popular backing for the military dictatorship that seized power after 
violently crushing pro-democracy demonstrations poses difficulties for 
sustained economic development, at least so long as the military fails 
to initiate genuine political reform and dialogue with its opponents. 
Although local private investment continues to expand, it is limited by 
lack of capital, overregulation of commerce and continued government 
intrusiveness into the lives of its citizens.

The government claims Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 6.8 percent in 
1994/95.  Inflation was 32 percent.  Officially registered exports were 
USD 816 million, but this does not include large amounts of minerals, 
timber, and other exports smuggled over Burma's lengthy and poorly-
controlled borders.  The major exports are beans and pulses, rice, teak, 
hardwood and wood-based products, rubber, gems, jade, base metals and 
ores, textiles and handicrafts.

Burma's wealth of natural resources was largely untapped during 25 years 
of isolationist economic policies prior to 1988.  Burma has fertile 
farmland, vast stands of teak and  tropical hardwoods and other timber, 
freshwater and marine fisheries, recent large finds of natural gas, some 
oil and significant mineral resources.  Most mineral resources have not 
been fully exploited or even explored.

Country Commercial Guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank 
on CD-ROM or through the Internet.  Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800-
STAT-USA for more information.  To locate Country Commercial Guides via 
the Internet, please use the following World Wide WEB address: WWW.STAT-
USA.GOV. CCGs can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette from the 
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-NTIS.

Major Trends and Outlook

(NOTE: Official statistics are unreliable and may give a misleading 
picture.  For example, GDP statistics do not cover the extensive 
informal market economy, and the highly overvalued official exchange 
rate exaggerates dollar values.  Moreover, official data for 1993/94 
through 1995/96 are preliminary and subject to substantial later 
revision.  Except where otherwise stated, the following figures are 
based on a fiscal year ending March 31.)

A. Government Role in the Economy
>From 1962-88, Burma had a centrally-planned economy with little  foreign 
trade and investment.  Burma began opening its economy in September 
1988, when the military government that seized power after violently 
crushing pro-democracy demonstrations proclaimed a market-oriented 
economic policy, invited foreign investment and began an ad hoc series 
of economic reforms.  Reforms to date have included:

Allowing the private sector to engage in most economic activities;

Legalizing border trade and allowing it to be conducted at market 
exchange rates;

Signing border trade agreements with India, Thailand, China and 
Bangladesh to normalize and expand border trade;

Streamlining trading procedures;

Permitting exporters to retain their earnings in foreign currency, use 
the bulk of them for imports, and exchange these earnings among account 
holders at state-owned banks;

Introducing a parallel currency (foreign exchange certificates or FECs) 
to help circumvent the overvalued official exchange rate;

Vastly reducing the areas of the economy doing business at the official 
exchange rate;

Allowing citizens receiving foreign exchange income to keep 90 percent 
of it in officially approved banks without having to convert it into 
kyats (the remaining 10 percent is paid as tax);

Privatizing some state-owned enterprises;

Allowing farmers to sell around 80 percent of their rice crop on the 
free market and permitting most agricultural crops other than rice to be 
exported by the private sector;

Permitting private sector banks;

Allowing four private banks tied to the government to handle foreign 

Implementing a foreign investment law allowing foreign investment in 
most sectors of the economy, and permitting 100 percent foreign 
ownership in some sectors;

Adopting an open official attitude to foreign investment, where the 
government will consider any reasonable proposal and modify its laws to 
allow proposals deemed in the interest of the state;

Promulgating a domestic investment law;

Implementing a new mining law; and

Easing procedures for issuing business and tourist visas.

By 1994/95, the private sector accounted for 76.4 percent of Gross 
Domestic Product (GDP).  Although the private sector has grown and 
market forces are playing a greater role in the economy, lack of 
capital, uncertainty about the political and economic situation, and 
continued government intrusiveness into the lives of its citizens limit 
local private investors' involvement in large-scale, long-term 

B. Economic Outlook 

Despite some substantial reforms among the government's ad hoc measures, 
the regime's overriding concern to maintain political stability has 
prevented it from making significant progress on badly needed basic 
reforms such as imposing hard budget constraints on state economic 
enterprises and the military, reducing deficit spending, lowering 
inflation, modernizing the financial system, realigning the currency and 
accelerating privatization.  The economy has not been stabilized.  
Inflation has been between 21-59 percent over the past five years.  
While incomes have risen, most have not kept pace with inflation.  
Income disparity has widened, both within the cities and between urban 
and rural areas. Imports continue to rise well ahead of recorded export 
earnings (although an inflow of grants and direct foreign investment 
moved the balance of payments to a surplus in 1994/95).  The lack of 
political reform has left Burma cut off from multilateral financing and 
most foreign aid since 1988.  As the fundamental underpinnings of the 
economy remain weak, Burma has not yet established the preconditions for 
sustained long-term economic growth.

Things look somewhat brighter over the medium term.  The recent doubling 
of foreign investment is an encouraging sign, although Burma has so far 
attracted less foreign investment than most South East Asian nations.  
Government officials have said that in two to three years they will have 
sufficient foreign exchange reserves to realign the currency.  They note 
that hard currency revenue from natural gas sales to Thailand will begin 
in mid-1998 and continue for 30 years.  If investments currently under 
discussion in mining, energy, and export-oriented manufacturing come to 
fruition, Burma could gain substantial foreign exchange inflows.  The 
key will be whether the government uses these opportunities to implement 
badly needed economic reforms and sufficient political reforms to 
convince the donor community to restore multilateral financing and 
foreign aid.

1994/95 Performance

In 1994/95, continued economic liberalization, a doubling of foreign 
investment and increased agricultural production helped bring a third 
straight year of economic growth.  The actual amount of growth is 
difficult to assess because government numbers are inflated.  The 
government claims GDP grew 6.8 percent in 1994/95 and 5.6 percent in 
1993/94.  Per capita GDP grew 4.8 percent in 1994/95 and 4.0 percent in 

Principal Growth Sectors

According to government data, agriculture accounted for about 38 percent 
of GDP and 65 percent of employment in 1994/95.  The government claims 
the agricultural sector grew 7.2 percent.  Production of major crops 
increased in response to expansion of the cultivated area and government 
support, especially expanded irrigation. Pulses and beans production 
grew 37 percent, corn production by 25 percent, cotton production by 144 
percent, while sugar cane production fell 16 percent.  The winter oil 
seed crop was reduced by the early withdrawal of the 1994 monsoon.  The 
government claims total oilseed production grew 14 percent in 1994/95.  
Shortages in the domestic market caused cooking oil prices to spark 
upward.  The Embassy estimates that cooking oil prices rose about 60 
percent in 1994.  They have risen 43 percent from January to June 1995 
compared to the same period last year. 

Although rice production increased, it failed to reach government 
predictions of 19 million metric tons due to floods during the early 
monsoon period in some parts of Burma, problems in government irrigation 
programs and the early withdrawal of the monsoon in all parts of Burma, 
which affected late maturing varieties of rice.  The government 
estimates that rice production was 18 million metric tons.  The Embassy 
estimates that total rice production was 16 million metric tons, which 
is still higher than our estimate for last year's production of 15 
million metric tons.  One of the main reasons for differing Embassy and 
Burmese government predictions is that the government claims it expanded 
cultivation of the dry season rice crop to 4 million acres.  The Embassy 
believes only 2.5 million acres were seeded with dry season rice.

The government claims it met its official target of exporting 1 million 
metric tons of rice, twice the amount the Embassy believes was exported 
in 1993/94.  The Embassy believes rice exports were somewhat less than 1 
million metric tons in 1994/95, and that the export level achieved was 
likely met at a cost of running down government reserves, which had been 
at record levels in 1993/94.  There have been some signs of shortfalls 
in government rice stocks in 1995. The government has taken measures to 
reduce upward pressure on domestic rice prices.  In late 1994, it ended 
the practice begun last year of allowing the Agricultural Ministry to 
export rice in order to pay for imported inputs.  The government feared 
that, given pressures on supply, Agricultural Ministry competition with 
the Trade Ministry to produce rice would push up prices.  The government 
also removed several long-standing barriers to domestic trade in rice.

Because government rice reserves were reduced to reach the 1994/95 
export target, the May 1995 monsoon was late in arriving, and government 
irrigation and other programs to support dry season rice are not as 
successful as claimed, the Embassy believes rice exports will fall in 

The Embassy estimates that consumer prices for the low-quality type of 
rice consumed by the majority of the population rose only 4 percent in 
1994.  From January to June 1995, consumer prices for this dietary 
staple had risen 13 percent compared to the same period last year.  The 
price for the higher quality rice consumed by higher income people rose 
10 percent from January to June 1995 compared to the same period in 
1994. The Embassy expects that rice prices will continue to rise until 
October 1995 because there will be shortages until the monsoon harvest.  
The Embassy expects the government will continue to give top priority to 
keeping rice prices down, however, so the amount of the increases will 
be moderate.

Fisheries production grew only 4.6 percent in 1994/95.  The government 
hopes its full privatization of Myanma Fisheries Enterprise will bring 
increased production in 1995/96.  Foreign investment grew markedly in 
1994/95, and helped Burma begin producing high quality frozen shrimp for 
export to the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan. 

Burma's forestry production is experiencing a change in both policy and 
scope, as government officials try to combat deforestation and ensure 
that Burma's forests continue to yield economic wealth for years to 
come.  The forestry sector declined 14 percent in 1994/95, as the ending 
of private sector timber concessions, shortages of mechanical power and 
abrupt policy changes in the domestic sector restrained output.  
Roundwood (includes all logs, firewood, and an Embassy estimate for the 
number of posts and poles) production during 1994/95 was about 28 
million cubic meters (CUM), down 3.4 from the previous year's 
production. Preliminary official figures indicate production of tropical 
hardwood logs fell 30 percent in 1994/95 to 2 million CUM.  Teak logs 
production also fell to 368,000 CUM, a decrease of 22 percent.  Teak 
logs and timber exports earned an estimated USD 218.5 million, an 
increase of 19 percent over the previous year's income.  The State 
sector constituted 80.5 percent of total timber export earnings, while 
the private sector's share was 19.5 percent.

Given the strong interest of foreign investors in this sector, growth 
should rise in 1995/96 if the government adheres to a consistent set of 


According to government figures, manufacturing accounted for only 9.4 
percent of GDP and 8.2 percent of employment.  Outside observers believe 
industry is responsible for 14.4 percent of GDP. Many manufacturing 
activities relate to processing agricultural and other natural 
resources, such as oil refining and urea production. Growth in small 
cottage industries, particularly food and beverage production, helped 
boost industrial output by 8.9 percent in 1994/95.  Burma has thousands 
of small, highly labor intensive, cottage industries.  Most large 
factories are owned by the state.  Their output has grown slightly due 
to some rationalization of production and management and increased 
cooperation with private industry, but they continue to suffer from lack 
of access to foreign exchange for spare parts and other essential 
inputs, poor management, heavy reliance on government subsidies, lack of 
responsiveness to market forces and an excess number of employees. Their 
chronically low rate of capacity utilization is estimated at 10 to 40 

Energy and Mining 
With strict fuel rationing, most fuel in the country is available only 
on the black market.  Foreign firms and others with dollars or foreign 
exchange certificates (FECs) are now able to purchase fuel through 
state-owned Myanmar Petroleum Products Enterprise.

Frequent power outages force most private and state factories to operate 
far below capacity.  Many private factories use generators, despite 
shortages of diesel fuel, which is diverted almost entirely to a black 
market.  The electricity supply improved somewhat in 1994/95, due mainly 
to additional use of hydropower.  Electric power generation rose 115 
million kilowatt hours (KhW) to 3500 million  KhW.  Total installed 
electric power capacity rose 68 megawatts to 1212, but old equipment 
kept power losses high at 37 percent of total generation. 
The power picture in Rangoon should brighten in 1995 as the government 
brings natural gas on line from the Aphauk field being developed by 
state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).  Currently, power 
outrages in Rangoon are still common.  Overall, natural gas production 
rose 42 percent in 1994/95 to 51,090 million cubic feet. Crude oil 
production rose 10 percent to 5.7 million barrels in 1994/95. 

Most of the foreign firms exploring onshore have now pulled out.  A few 
found oil onshore, but the amounts were small and expensive to recover. 
MOGE and two Australian firms are continuing to explore onshore.  
Results have been better offshore, where there have been some 
significant finds of natural gas, including about 6 trillion cubic feet 
found by the French firm Total.  Some foreign firms are currently 
engaged in negotiations with MOGE for oil and gas exploration/production 
contracts, so the amount of foreign investment in the Energy sector may 
increase in 1995.

Official statistics on the mining sector are particularly difficult to 
assess given the large amount of minerals smuggled to China and 
Thailand.  Production figures for most minerals have often been revised 
sharply downward from initial reports.  The government claims the mining 
sector grew 12.6 percent in 1994/95, helped by allowing the domestic 
private sector to prospect, and introducing modern technology.  Official 
sales of gems and jade were USD 29.1 million in 1994/95.  Although 
government pricing policies ensure that most gems are smuggled out of 
Burma, the government hopes to increase legal sales by increasing the 
role of the private sector by allowing joint ventures and private sales 
of gems, jade and jewelry for export.  Sales have been modest, because 
merchants must pay a 15-20 percent tax on sales to the state-owned 
Myanmar Gems Enterprise. 
Fiscal and Monetary Developments 
NOTE:  The Embassy's assessment of the budget is based on official 
Burmese government figures for the original and supplementary budgets.  
The government also publishes a single, consolidated budget in its 
annual economic report.  This latter budget understates spending and 
overstates government revenue.

Burma's budget is divided into 3 parts:  Central Government; State 
Economic Enterprises; and Rangoon, Mandalay and Township Development 
Committees.  The central government budget includes the budget for 
Ministries and a small budget for "other," most of which goes to the 
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).  In 1994/95, only 32 
percent of total public sector spending went to central government 
Ministries (45,154 million kyat).  State Economic Enterprises received 
68 percent (95,356 million kyat).

As it has done every year since seizing power in 1988, the SLORC issued 
a "supplementary budget" at the end of the 1994/95 fiscal year with 
additional spending.  This year's supplementary budget was for 36,898 
million kyat, or 36 percent of originally planned spending.  67 percent 
of this "unplanned" spending went to bail out State Economic 
Enterprises.  The Construction Ministry got 9 percent, Defense got 8 
percent, Agriculture got 5 percent, while Finance and Revenue got 4 
percent.  All other Ministries received token amounts, except for the 
Ministries of Light Industry, Heavy Industry and Tourism, which received 
no additional funds.

Central government spending fell 6 percent in real terms, once the 
government-estimated inflation rate is factored in (24.5 percent for 
Calendar Year 1994). Although announced funding for the Defense Ministry 
fell 12 percent in real terms, the Ministry still had the largest share 
of the Central Government budget, 33 percent, down from 37 percent in 
1993/94.  The Construction Ministry got the second largest share, 14 
percent.  This Ministry carries out most of what the government 
considers "development" work i.e. constructing roads, bridges, schools, 
hospitals and other buildings.  The share going to the Education 
Ministry continued to decline, falling from 18 percent in 1992/93 to 16 
percent last year and 13 percent in 1994/95.  The Finance and Revenue 
Ministry, which includes funding for government pensions, got 11 percent 
of this year's Ministerial budget.  The other Ministry to get a major 
share of the budget was Agriculture, which got 10 percent.  By contrast, 
the share of funding for the Health Ministry continued to drop from 8 
percent in 1992/93 to 5 percent in 1993/94 and 4 percent in 1994/95.  
The Ministry of Home Affairs, which includes funding for the police 
force, got 5 percent of the budget, while the remaining Ministries got 2 
percent or less.

Public Sector funding to city governments (Town and City Development 
Committees) plummeted from 1610 million kyat in 1993/94 to 13 million 
kyat in 1994/95, because these committees are now relying on their own 
sources of financing.

Efforts to constrain central government and municipal spending were 
overwhelmed by spending on State Economic Enterprises, which grew 19 
percent in real terms.  Total Public Sector spending rose 13 percent in 
real terms to 140.523 million kyat.  Total Public Sector spending also 
rose as a share of GDP, from 29 percent in 1993/94 to 32 percent in 

Although public sector receipts grew 10 percent in real terms, it was 
not enough to make up for the rise in total public sector spending.  The 
public sector budget deficit continued to grow, reaching 50,364 million 
kyat or 11.5 percent of GDP.

It should be noted that the budget as published in the government's 
annual economic report includes the "Financial Account" and gives a more 
positive picture of government fiscal policies.  (See Table   in 
appendix).  Even in this annual report, however, the total public sector 
deficit grew from 4.3 percent of GDP in 1993/94 to 5.6 percent in 
1994/95.  In this annual report, the government says it will reduce the 
budget deficit to 3.6 percent of GDP in 1995/96, but this claim does not 
consider the inevitable supplementary budget and that tax receipts and 
other government revenue consistently fail to meet government estimates.

The government says it will continue to run large budget deficits until 
it finishes building needed infrastructure.  The government continues to 
finance the deficit through borrowing from the state banking system and, 
ultimately, printing more currency, but in 1993 began to finance it 
through issuing treasury bonds as well.  As of March 31, 1995, 100 
million kyat of bonds had been sold.  The rate of monetary expansion 
fell from 34.6 percent in 1992/93 to 19.8 percent in 1993/94, but rose 
to 35.4  percent in 1994/95.  This increase was due largely to increased 
lending to the private and especially to the state sector.  The 
government is trying to dampen the inflationary impact by mobilizing 
savings.  Savings rose from 23,339 millions kyat in 1993/94 to 30,240 
million kyat in 1994/95. 

The government estimates that inflation was 24.5 percent in 1994, down 
from 31.8 percent in 1993. The Embassy estimates that inflation fell to 
38 percent in 1994, down from 39 percent in 1993. The inflation was 
fueled by sharp increases in fuel, electricity and transport charges in 
August and September 1994.  According to the Embassy's estimate, overall 
food prices rose 19 percent in 1994. Inflation widened income disparity, 
hitting people on fixed incomes, including civil servants, especially 
hard.  Wages for urban day laborers generally rose about 15 percent in 
1994, keeping pace with the overall level of rising food prices.  During 
1994, the Embassy estimates that cooking oil prices rose 60 percent, 
while prices for meat and fish rose 32 percent and 27 percent 
respectively.  Such price increases have forced lower income Burmese to 
change their diets.

Despite inflation, the kyat has been stable and even appreciated on the 
unofficial market since October 1993.  While some observers believe the 
inflow of dollars from the drug trade helps to prop up the kyat, others 
say that the main cause is the inflow of dollars from investors.  
Because the official exchange rate is overvalued by nearly 20 times, 
investors cannot afford to exchange the dollars they bring in at the 
official rate.  Investment projects in various sectors have been delayed 
while investors holding dollars seek someone who will exchange them for 
kyat at a market rate (usually in order to buy imports.)

The resulting stability of the kyat on the unofficial market has made 
the government confident enough to allow the FEC and the market exchange 
rate to spread throughout the economy.  Today, the official exchange 
rate is used only for government-linked transactions, and not even for 
all such transactions.   
Balance of Payments

NOTE: This analysis of the Balance of Payments uses the official 
exchange rate.  

The private sector now accounts for some 83.7 percent of legal imports 
and exports.  While this is a positive sign of development toward a 
market economy, an unwanted side effect is a growing shift from capital 
to consumer imports.  In an attempt to control the use of scarce foreign 
exchange, the government has experimented with various schemes to 
require importers to import a certain portion of "essential" goods.  
Currently, import/export companies must use 25 percent of their export 
earnings for "essential imports."  Such programs continued to have some 
success in 1994/95 in pushing imports toward cooking oil, cement, 
construction materials, industrial raw materials and spare parts.

Officially recorded imports rose 15 percent to 9117 million kyat (USD 
1.5 billion).  Officially recorded exports rose 13 percent to 4773 
million kyat or USD 796 million.  The resulting trade deficit grew 91 
percent to 4344 million kyat, or USD 724 million. 

The majority of Burma's imports are industrial raw materials, machinery, 
spare parts and implements, construction materials, heavy equipment, 
capital equipment for industry, motor vehicles, electrical appliances 
and consumer goods including foodstuffs, electronics, medicines and 
pharmaceuticals.  Border trade brings in the full range of consumer 
items and small inputs for private industry, i.e. inks, paper, dyes, 
plastic pellets and medicines.

1994/95 export earnings from forestry products (mainly logs) fell 21 
percent. Earnings from exports of agricultural goods, mainly beans and 
pulses, grew 47 percent to over USD 332 million.  Exports of beans and 
pulses have been growing ever since the government turned most 
agricultural production over to the private sector.  In 1994/95, 456,634 
metric tons of beans and pulses were exported.  Fisheries exports rose 
87 percent, mainly in exports of shrimp and fish.  This sharp increase 
was largely due to the government's allowing the private sector to 
export directly from the ports of Meik, Mawlamyaing (South Burma) and 
Pathein (Delta) instead of only from Rangoon.       

Burma's chief export markets were Singapore, Thailand, India, China and 
Hong Kong, while its most important import sources were Japan, China, 
Thailand and Singapore.

Although official statistics capture some of the previously illegal 
border trade, much of Burma's imports and exports are not recorded 
because it does not flow through official crossing points, or is 
deliberately under-reported by people seeking to evade duties and taxes.  
Illegal exports of narcotics, live animals, gems, and jade, and minerals 
are also substantial.  (Burma is the world's leading producer of opium.)  
As unofficial trade flows are usually balanced, however, the official 
figures for the trade deficit are likely a good approximation.

Thanks to net services income of 2305 million kyat (USD 394 million) and 
1836 million kyat in private services and transfers (USD 314 million), 
the current account deficit was only 1762 million kyat (USD 301 

On the capital account, direct investment was 1441 million kyat (USD 246 
million).  Other sources of capital amounted to a net of 880 million 
kyat (USD 150 million), of which 977 million kyat was in grants and (-) 
94 million kyat was for loan repayments.  Burma had a deficit in short-
term financing of 32 million kyat (USD 5 million).

Overall, the balance of payments improved markedly, rising from a 
deficit of 214 million kyat in 1993/94 to a surplus of 527 million kyat 
(USD 90 million) in 1994/95.  Direct foreign investment and grant 
inflows overwhelmed the current account deficit. (See appendix for 
balance of payments figures.)   

Although official figures have not been made public, Burma's total 
foreign debt is estimated at over USD 5.5 billion.  While most of the 
debt is on highly concessionary terms, Burma's weak trade position makes 
debt servicing difficult.  Arrears began to build up in 1988 and may now 
top USD 1 billion.  Foreign exchange reserves as of March 1995 were USD 
533.9 million.  Saddled with a large and growing trade deficit with 
scant foreign aid inflows in sight, Burma continues to have a weak 
external financial position.  Foreign exchange reserves should improve 
after mid-1998, if the Total natural gas project begins sales to 
Thailand as expected.

Although there has been some development in infrastructure, it  remains 
extremely poor and a major impediment to economic expansion and 
distribution of goods and services.  State and private enterprises 
operate far below capacity due to chronic shortages of electricity.  
Private and foreign companies often rely on costly, diesel-fueled 
generators.  Many roads, except for the major north-south artery between 
Rangoon and the central city of Mandalay, are poor and not passable year 
round.  Rail service is poor, although more rail connections have been 
added and some passenger and freight forwarding services on the main 
routes have been upgraded.  Ports are severely congested.  A number of 
navigable rivers give access to more remote regions.  

Telephone facilities are inadequate.  Even calls within a city can be 
difficult to complete.  International fax and phone calls to and from 
Burma are highly expensive and problematic.  The government's 
telecommunications modernization program has had some success, despite 
the shortage of hard currency for importing equipment.

Major Infrastructure Projects Underway 
The Ministry of Construction (Public Works Department) has issued 
international tenders for the building of six major bridges.  The 
Ministry for Border Area Development is overseeing an ambitious 
infrastructure development program, focusing on building roads, 
railroads, hospitals and schools.  Chinese firms are providing technical 
assistance in road and bridge building for some of these projects.

The Rail Ministry is adding new lines and upgrading existing lines in 
several parts of the country. State-owned Myanmar Railways has signed 
contracts with 3 Chinese companies, USD 40 million for the purchase of 
engines, coaches, and spare parts, and 10 million for steel bridge beams 
for the Chindwin River Project.

The Transport Ministry is working to improve the management of various 
inland waterways, including river ports and canal maintenance.  The 
Ministry is also building new international airports for Rangoon (near 
Bago) and Mandalay and upgrading other airports (including Rangoon's 
international airport.)  In June 1995, the government signed a 
Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Technologies Construction for 
design and building of the Mandalay International Airport.  A Chinese 
firm has started providing technical assistance on the construction of 
the runway.  The government has announced plans to build a new sea port 
at "Thilawa", a few miles from Thanyin (Syriam), for Rangoon, and a deep 
sea port in Arakan (Rakhine) State in the "Kyaukpyu" region.  The 
government is also upgrading Rangoon's port.  In May 1995, Mitsui 
Engineering and Shipbuilding signed a Memorandum of Understanding to 
upgrade Rangoon's shipyards to enable them to dock vessels up to 8,000 
tons, cooperation in building bridges, jetties, barges, buildings and 
sluice gates and implementation of the Thilawa port. To improve domestic 
transportation, the government has bought additional used Fokker planes 
for Myanma Airways and upgraded the aviation and railroad services by 
allowing private sector participation.

The Agricultural Ministry's Irrigation Department has been building 30 
dams simultaneously, ranging from small irrigation dams to hydroelectric 

The Energy Ministry is involved in the building/installation of natural 
gas pipelines, natural gas generators, and a few new electrical lines to 
make use of recently discovered resources.  The largest project involves 
foreign investment to build a natural gas pipeline to Thailand. 

Given the shortage of funding for infrastructure development, the 
government has traditionally used forced labor on many infrastructure 
projects.  (See Chapter III.) 
Nature of Political Relationship with the United States

Any improvement in bilateral relations depends on the Burmese 
Government's introducing political reform and taking positive action to 
improve its human rights and narcotics control records.  Official 
relations between the United States and Burma have been cool since the 
1988 military coup, after which the United States and other major donor 
countries suspended most foreign assistance. Because of its inadequate 
narcotics suppression efforts, serious violations of human rights and 
lack of progress toward initiating domestic reform, Burma is ineligible 
for U.S. aid and the United States and other countries oppose loans and 
financial assistance to Burma by multilateral financial institutions.  
Burma has been suspended from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences 
(GSP) program for worker rights violations and is ineligible for OPIC 

Moreover, the U.S. EXIM bank does not have an active loan program for 
Burma.  The U.S. Government will not approve licenses for the export of 
military and military-related products to Burma.  In compliance with a 
provision of the 1990 Customs and Trade Act, the United States declined 
to renew a bilateral textile agreement with Burma that expired in 
December 1990.  Although Burma's textile exports to the United States 
are not embargoed, the absence of an agreement allows the United States 
unilaterally to impose import quotas.  Currently two textile categories 
(340/640: Men's and Boy's Cotton and Man-made Fiber Woven Shirts; 
342/642: Cotton and Man-made Fiber Skirt); are subject to quotas.   
Major Political Issues Affecting Business Climate 
Democratic elections in 1990 were overwhelmingly won by the opposition 
National League for Democracy.  Since that time, the SLORC has refused 
to turn over power to the winners of that election.  The lack of popular 
backing for the current government poses difficulties for sustained 
economic development, at least so long as the military leaders fail to 
initiate genuine political reform and dialogue with their opponents. 
Tight controls over economic activities run parallel to the extremely 
high levels of government involvement in all activities in Burma.  
Authorities in Burma consider themselves as acting in the interest of 
the state, and are not always careful about legal niceties.  
Consequently, while most foreign firms currently appear to be enjoying 
kid glove treatment, anyone doing business in Burma -- local or 
foreigner -- faces the potential for arbitrary and capricious treatment 
by the government.  

The U.S. Government has an official policy of neither encouraging or 
discouraging trade and investment in Burma.  Some large U.S. companies 
doing business in Burma have encountered criticism from human rights 
groups and some shareholders because of the Burmese government's serious 
human rights abuses, and the continued detention of political prisoners, 
including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.  Burmese leaders met with 
Aung San Suu Kyi in September and October 1994 raising hopes that a 
dialogue might begin, but there have been no further discussions.  Aung 
San Suu Kyi's official term of detention expires in July 1995, but in 
the past the government has repeatedly extended her detention.  Should 
she be released, most observers believe the climate for business could 
improve significantly.

Burma's use of forced labor has come under strong international 
criticism.  Hard pressed to fund badly-needed infrastructure 
development, the government has often used corvee and prison labor. 
Typically, villagers who happen to be in an area where central planners 
decide to place a road, railroad or dam are forced to contribute money 
or a set amount of labor.  Although the money collected from the 
villagers is used to pay some laborers,  and the government sometimes 
pays workers, most people are not paid and face imprisonment if  they 
refuse  to make their "voluntary contribution."   The government has 
also seized some people off the street, even in Rangoon, and forced them 
to break rocks for roadbuilding.  Some workers on forced labor projects, 
both conscripts and ordinary citizens, have died from harsh treatment.  
Around 6,000 common prisoners were released in 1995 after earning 
reductions in their sentences through participation in public works 
projects.  The military also impresses civilians and prisoners alike to 
serve as porters to bear heavy loads in active combat zones where roads 
are scarce.  Impressed porters have been underfed, abused and left to 
die if wounded.  Some of the prisoners taken as forced laborers or 
military porters have been recently arrested and awaiting trial for 
their alleged crimes.  Military units have also used the fear of forced 
porterage to extort money from civilians.

Brief Synopsis of the Political System 
Burma is ruled by a military dictatorship that operates through a 21-man 
military council called the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
(SLORC).  There is no parliament, political activity is tightly 
controlled and the press is strictly censored.  Almost all opposition 
parties have been banned.  The military is currently stage-managing a 
convention of mostly government-selected delegates charged with drawing 
up guidelines for a new constitution.  There will likely be a drafting 
stage once the guidelines have been drawn up.  Observers believe that a 
constitution, which is intended to guarantee a continued military  hold 
on ultimate power, will not be completed before 1996, if not later.

Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner 
The Burmese economy is in a transitional phase from a socialist to a 
market-oriented economy.  Consequently, the government is still in the 
process of issuing new rules and regulations governing commerce.  These 
notifications and orders are subject to frequent amendment, leading to 
considerable confusion and uncertainty in the business community.  
Therefore, companies interested in doing business in Burma are well 
advised to employ good local contacts to keep up-to-date on changing 
conditions.  Moreover, patience is a key factor in dealing with the 
complex business environment. Good local contacts are also important 
because personal connections and earning the trust of government 
officials are key to doing business in Burma. (U.S. firms interested in 
a local agent or representative may contact their nearest U.S. 
Department of Commerce District Office.)

Joint Ventures 

Foreign investors' experiences in joint ventures with the state vary 
depending on the ministry involved.  Investors report that their 
government "partners" see their role more as to ensure that the private 
investor obeys government regulations, than to make the 
venture profitable.  Civil servants working in joint ventures can be as 
intensely legalistic as other officials regulating commerce and seek to 
hold investors strictly to the terms of their contracts.  Many investors 
report that working in joint ventures gets easier as government 
employees are trained and educated in business practices.  Although most 
investors report no significant problems, some find working with 
government agencies so exasperating that they recommend avoiding joint 
ventures whenever possible.  

Steps to Establishing an Office; Registering as a Company 

Foreign companies are not required to register in order to sell their 
products in Burma if they sell through a local agent, representative or 
distributor.  Burmese citizens, however, must register with their 
government in order to have any import/export or other business dealings 
with foreign firms.  Many foreign companies establish a formal presence 
in Burma in order to facilitate business, including obtaining 
import/export and other permits.  A company can establish a presence by 
hiring a local agent, distributor or representative.  The local 
agent/distributor/representative handles all the required documentation 
with the Trade Ministry.  

If a foreign individual or company sells directly to the end user on a 
regular basis, it must register and obtain a Permit to Trade. Foreign 
companies and individuals engaged in import/export must register with 
and obtain their Permit to Trade from the Ministry of Trade. 

Those engaged in other business, including establishing 100 percent 
foreign-owned companies or limited companies, must register and obtain 
permits from the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.  
If a foreign individual or company forms a partnership with a local 
firm, registration is not compulsory, but the lack of registration 
prevents the foreign firm from seeking legal recourse if needed.  The 
requirement for a Permit to Trade is waived for joint ventures with 
state entities, but these companies generally acquire the permit.  Fees 
ranges from kyat 500 to 10,000 for registration, license/permit and 
annual renewal, depending upon the line of business.  Foreign companies 
must pay in hard currency at the official exchange rate.  Foreign 
companies can register either as a foreign branch of a company 
incorporated outside Burma, or as a foreign company incorporated in 
Burma (See annex).  These companies are required to bring foreign 
exchange in the form of "head office foreign capital" in the case of a 
branch or "issued and paid-up capital" in the case of an incorporated 
company.  (The capital need not be brought in as a lump sum.)  The 
amounts range from roughly 500,000 to 1,000,000 kyat.  If the foreign 
branch or company is registered under the name of a Burmese citizen, 
these charges can be paid in kyat.  If registration is in the name of a 
foreign citizen, these fees must be paid in hard currency at the 
official exchange rate.  Branches are treated as "Non-Resident" for 
taxation purposes; incorporated companies as "Resident". 


--  List of Newspapers 
The following state-owned newspapers are published by the News and 
Periodicals Enterprise of the Ministry of Information. 

1.  The New Light of Myanmar 
    The New Light of Myanmar Press, 22/30 Strand Road, 43rd Street, 
    (P.O. Box 43) Yangon, Myanmar. 
2.  Myanma Alin 
    Myanma Alin Press, 212 Theinphyu Road, Botataung Township,(P.O. 
    Box 40) Yangon, Myanmar. 
3.  Kyemon (The Mirror) 
    Kyemon Press, 77 52nd Street, Pazundaung Township, (P.O. Box 
    1188) Yangon, Myanmar.  
4.  City News
    Third Floor, City Central Plaza, Shwedagon Pagoda Road, Yangon, 

-- List of Economic Journals and Magazines (select)

1.  Dana 
    Dana Economic Magazine, 189-B, 33rd Street, Kyauktada Township, 
    Yangon, Myanmar. 
2.  Myanma Dana 
    Myanma Dana Economic Magazine, Bldg. 7 Room 8, Lanthit Yeiktha 
    Road, Yangon, Myanmar. 
3.  Kyi-Pwa-Ye 
    Office of the Board of Editors, 296 Bo Sun Pat Street, Pabedan 
    Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 
4.  Myanma Economic Journal 
    1 Kinwun Mingyi Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 
5.  Oksa Dana Journal 
    Seven Dragon Myanma Enterprise Co. Ltd., 37A U Tun Myat Road, 
    Tamwe Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 
6.  Ka Naung 
    Ministry of Industry (1), 192 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yangon, 
7.  Yadana Thit
    Ministry of Forestry, Thiri Mingala Lane, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, 
    Yangon, Myanmar.
8.  Style Thit 
    70 Aung Myita Lane, Ward (1), Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 
9.  Myat Kyemon 
    147 Theinbyu Road, Mingala Taung Nyunt Township, Yangon,   
10. Phu Thit Wai 
    Room 18 Bldg. 74/76 Anawrahta Street, Pazundaung Township,   
    Yangon, Myanmar.
-- Advertising Agencies and Services 
1. Ad Grand Advertising Pte. Ltd., 73 Pyay Road, Dagon P.O., Yangon
2. Bates Myanmar, 46 A Inya Myaing Road, Bahan P.O., Yangon
3. International Advertising Service, 82A Saya San Road, BahanP.O.,
4. MacComm PR Advertising, 259 Canal Street, Lanmadaw P.O., Yangon
5. MMI Marketing, 73 Pyay Road, Dagon, Yangon
6. Sann Aung Imaging Ltd., 132 Seikkantha Street, Kyauktada P.O.,

Selling to the Government 
With few exceptions, Ministries have considerable autonomy to make their 
own business decisions.  Most decisions within each Ministry are sent to 
the Minister.  Even requests by foreign firms for meetings with lower-
ranking officials are usually sent to the Minister for approval.  
Burmese government agencies and state enterprises usually purchase goods 
from abroad by international tender but several Ministries send tender 
invitations only to a select group of companies known to the Ministry.  
Tender deadlines are usually extremely short.  The Embassy reports 
tenders to the Commerce Department and Commercial Sections of Embassies 
in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Delhi.  Those tenders meeting 
the Commerce Department's guidelines for advance notice are published by 
the Commerce Department in the "Economic Bulletin Board" and "Commerce 
Business Daily."   Instructions for acquiring bid documents are 
contained in these announcements.  Commerce Department District offices 
also keep leads on file for the general public. The government had been 
decreasing its use of international tenders due to lack of foreign 
exchange.  The number of tenders noticeably dropped in 1993, but 
rebounded in 1994, especially in the construction and textile sector.  
In April-June 1995, the number of government issued international 
tenders suddenly soared, especially for inputs to textile and other 
manufacturing.  When a state agency gets an influx of foreign exchange, 
it will sometimes issue a spurt of international tenders. The current 
spurt may be due to the start of the new fiscal year.

Some state agencies make arrangements with private local companies that 
have foreign exchange to buy goods from abroad.  Other agencies invite 
domestic tenders for foreign goods and buy in kyat. Private local 
companies are unable to invite international tenders. They buy from 
their own sources abroad, and have on occasion used price lists and 
catalogs that U.S. companies have sent the Embassy commercial section.  
A local person who has close contact with a governmental organization is 
likely to be the main supplier of foreign goods to that organization.  
Experienced local businessmen advise potential U.S. exporters to 
establish contact with such individuals and relevant ministries, 
directly or through local representatives.  
Protecting Your Property from IPR Infringement 
There is no effective protection of patents, copyrights, trademarks or 
any other intellectual property in Burma.  A Patents and Design Act was 
introduced in 1945, but never brought into force.  Consequently, the 
Indian Patents and Designs Act of 1911, which was enacted when India and 
Burma were jointly administered under British colonial rule, continues 
to govern the registration of patents and designs.  Pirating of books, 
software, designs, etc. is rampant.  Many firms place a trademark 
caution notice in the local newspaper, warning that trademark infringers 
will be dealt with according to the law.  Once this trademark caution 
notice has been published in the newspaper, legal action (in the form of 
a civil  suit) can be taken against trademark infringers.  Trademark 
registration is possible, but in the absence of a trademarks law, is not 
compulsory.  Title  to a trademark depends on use of the trademark in 
connection with goods sold in Burma.  Civil action can be taken against 
misuse of a trademark, but is cumbersome and costly.  Burma does not 
belong to any international conventions on patents, trademarks or 
copyrights.  Protection of intellectual property may improve as Burma 
adjusts its legislation to the needs of a market economy, and the 
obligations of the Uruguay Round GATT TRIPS agreement. 

Legal System

Many foreign businessmen say Burma's legal system based on British legal 
tradition gives it an advantage in attracting foreign firms. While 
Memoranda of Understanding may be subjected to repeated revision, 
contracts are generally respected.  In fact, Burmese tend to take a 
legalistic view  of a contract, holding themselves and foreign 
businessmen strictly to its terms.  Unfortunately, there have been some 
notable exceptions to this general rule, including the Ministry of 
Agriculture and state-owned timber enterprise, which have refused to 
deliver goods at the contracted price.  There have also been questions 
about how well Rangoon's City Government, the Yangon City Development 
Committee, honors contracts.  Although Burma is in the process of 
revising its legislation in line with the needs of a market economy, 
laws and regulations governing property and contractual rights are 
outdated -- many were enacted during colonial rule -- and consequently 
are ineffective.  The Government readily and thoroughly interferes in 
any case deemed politically sensitive, which could include business 
disputes involving state agencies or members of the military elite.


There are fifteen types of taxes and duties under four main categories - 
taxes levied on:- (1) domestic production and public consumption; (2) 
income and ownership; (3) custom duties; and (4) utilities of State-
owned properties.  Several of these taxes and duties are applicable to 
foreign businesses.  Taxation issues in Burma are complex.  Foreign 
companies are advised to seek assistance from local tax experts.

Foreigners who reside in Burma for 183 days or more are considered 
residents for tax purposes.  Foreigners staying in Burma less than 183 
days, and foreign company branches or representative offices, are 
considered non-resident.  Resident citizens and foreigners are subject 
to tax on all income, even if that income comes from sources outside 
Burma.  Businesses operating under a foreign investment permit from the 
Myanmar Investment Commission are subject to tax only on income from 
sources within Burma.  Non-resident foreigners or business are subject 
to tax only on income from within Burma.

The individual income tax rate for foreign currency income is 10 
percent, for both foreigners and Burmese citizens.  This tax must be 
paid in hard currency, and is usually deducted automatically when the 
income passes through state banks.  The 10 percent tax must be paid, 
regardless of whether the person receives his wages in hard currency or 
Burmese-government issued Foreign Exchange Certificates (FEC's)

The individual income tax rate for kyat income varies from 3 to 50 per 
cent.  The rate for a resident foreigner who owns the company, is 
between 3 to 50 percent; for an employee who is a resident foreigner the 
tax rate is 3 to 30 percent; for an investor operating under a permit 
issued by the Myanmar Investment Commission, a foreign firm working 
under the approval of a Ministry, or a resident company, the tax is a 
flat rate of 30 percent on total net income; and the tax for kyat income 
for non-resident foreigners is 35 percent, or at graduated rates from 3 
to 50 percent, whichever yields the greater tax liability.  There are 
some personal allowances for taxes on individual kyat income.

The tax rate for profits over kyat 150,000 (about USD 25,000 at the 
official exchange rate) is 50 percent.  If the non-resident company is 
operating under the Myanmar Investment Commission permit, the tax rate 
drops to 30 percent.

In calculating net profits, all expenses related to earning profits, 
together with allowable depreciation, may be deducted, but expenses 
either not relevant or not appropriate to earning income may not be 
deducted.  Dividends can only be paid from net profits, and these are 
tax-free in the hands of the recipient.

The rate for capital gains tax is 10 percent for residents and 40 
percent for non-resident foreigners.  Capital gains tax is payable on 
the sale of any capital asset, including land, vehicles or other 
business assets.  Aside from capital gains tax on land and buildings, 
there is no property tax.

A commercial tax is levied on transactions of goods and services, 
whether produced in Burma or imported.  Basic foodstuffs and raw 
materials are exempt, while the commercial tax rate for hotel and 
restaurant services is 10%, and the rate on other items varies from 5 to 
25 per cent or higher on luxury items.  Tax incentives are available 
only to local and foreign companies approved by the Myanmar Investment 
Commission. (See Chapter VII).

Trade Fairs

Foreign exporters exhibited their products at the March 1995 Myanmar 
Trade Fair, sponsored by the Trade Ministry.  The Fair also attracted a 
wide array of local companies exhibiting local and foreign products, 
including from the United States.  The next nation-wide Trade Fair will 
be in January 1996.  Throughout 1995, a Singaporean Firm, Applied 
Investments (Asia) Pte. Ltd. is hosting a series of trade fairs for 
foreign exporters.  Distributors of U.S. products have participated in 
these fairs.  U.S. firms are invited to contact the U.S. Embassy for 
information on trade fairs.  

1995 Trade Fairs: 

October 1995 

Mid Year Gems Emporium

   The followings exhibitions are organized by Applied Investments 
(Asia) Pte. Ltd. and Conference & Exhibition Management Services Pte. 
Ltd., Singapore 1995/96 

June 21 - June 24, 1995

Myanmar Computer, Telecom & Consumer Electronics Expo'95
Myanmar Building Materials & Construction machinery Expo'95
Myanmar Garment & Textile Machinery & Accessories Expo'95

October 11 - October 14, 1995

Myanmar Food & Hotel Equipment Expo'95
Myanmar Food Processing & Packaging Expo'95

December 6 - December 9, 1995

Myanmar Energy & Power Equipment Expo'95
Myanmar Oil & Gas Equipment Expo'95
Myanmar Transport & Motor Accessories Expo'95
Myanmar Pumps & Valves Expo'95

1996 Trade Fairs: 

January 1996

Myanma International Trade Fair

March 1996

33rd Annual Gems and Jade Emporium

October 1996

Mid-year Gems and Jade Emporium

Telecommunications (ITA Industry Code: TEL; TES)

The telecommunications sector is potentially one of the most attractive 
sectors for U.S. exports.  Current Burmese law does not allow foreign 
investment, but the government has received investment proposals from 
several countries.  The government has been considering modifying the 
law to allow foreign investment but is reluctant to allow foreign 
operation of its telecommunications system.  The state 
telecommunications agency, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), 
is upgrading Burma's rudimentary telecommunications infrastructure.  To 
do so will require exchange facilities, PABX systems, switching, 
distribution networks, subscriber equipment, cables, telephone sets, 
long distance facilities, etc.  As of June 1994, there were over 120,000 
phone lines for all of Burma, 400 exchanges (all but 50 of which are 
manual), and no direct dial to the United States.  This situation will 
likely improve somewhat during the next year given recent and planned 
MPT efforts.   MPT is building telecommunications infrastructure on a 
piece-meal basis.  It usually finances purchase of IDD lines, cellular 
phones, phone exchanges and similar items by requiring people desiring 
such services to pay (sometimes up-front) in U.S. dollars or kyat at the 
market rate.  Prices have ranged from USD 1200-5000, with the additional 
income used to finance other telecommunications projects.  While this 
method of self-financing provides foreign exchange to pay for 
telecommunications imports, it requires that purchases be made in small 
allotments. A typical tender is for 1,000-2,000 lines or less.

Several communities across the country are also raising their own funds 
to install telecommunications, including their own telephone exchange 
facilities.  This could represent a market for used U.S. telephone 
Although MPT does not issue open tenders, its officials say they welcome 
participation by U.S. firms and invite interested U.S. firms to contact 
MPT.  When MPT sends out tenders, however, it usually sends them only to 
the corporate headquarters of major firms, rather than smaller 
telecommunications companies.  As a result, U.S. firms miss export 

MPT has bought some U.S. equipment, mostly through Singapore. In 1994/95 
a U.S. firm, InterDigital Corporation, successfully sold 
telecommunications equipment for several Burmese cities/towns.  
Canadian, Israeli and Japanese firms have also recently won 
telecommunications deals.  Under the contract with MPT, Sumitomo 
Corporation (Japan) will construct new digital microwave channels 
between several towns in Upper Burma; install cable lines in several 
towns including Rangoon; and install optical fibre PMC system between 
exchanges in Rangoon.  Previously, almost all telecom contracts had gone 
to non-U.S. firms, including Ericsson, Siemens, Chinese, and South 
Korean Companies.  The British Firm, Cable and Wireless, and other 
foreign firms are aggressively pursuing business in the 
telecommunications sector.
Petroleum and Natural Gas; Electricity Generation; Fertilizer; Methanol
(ITA Industry Codes: ACE, CON, OGM, OGS, OMS, PVC, ELP)
Market potential for oil and gas equipment, pipeline construction, 
machinery and spare parts is significant for U.S. firms.  Local 
representatives have often been useful in U.S. sales of oil and gas 
equipment to the Burmese government, usually procured through 
internationally advertised tenders.  Most foreign oil companies that 
came to explore onshore for oil left between 1991-94, but new 
opportunities for seismic support, drilling services and sales of U.S. 
oil and gas related equipment have opened up.  The French company Total 
(and its U.S. partner Unocal) are developing a large gas reserve in the 
Gulf of Martaban, 90 miles off the southern coast.  The field is 
estimated to hold six trillion cubic feet.  Survey work has begun for 
the building of a gas pipeline to Thailand.  The estimated total 
investment is USD one billion over the 30 year life of the project.  
Production is expected to begin in mid-1998.  Estimates of revenue for 
the Burmese government from the gas sale vary greatly.  Most estimates 
fall between USD 75 -350 million a year once full production is reached.  
By some estimates, the Burmese government will not be receiving this 
revenue until the year 2001.  In the initial stages of production, much 
of the government's share will be used to repay development costs. In 
1995, Texaco signed an exploration production contract on the adjacent 
block.  In the Yetagun Field, an offshore gas find by Texaco (and its 
partners Premier of the United Kingdom and Nippon of Japan) is also 
promising. The Australian firms Kailis and Australian Southern Pacific 
are preparing to drill one or two  long-delayed exploratory wells in 
Rakhine State, while the Australian firm, Empire Oil Company, signed to 
explore in another onshore block in Rakhine State.  

Energy exploration companies from the U.S. and other countries continue 
to visit Burma to explore opportunities, but to date no further 
exploration/production contracts have been announced.  In May 1995, 
Indonesian firms met with Burmese officials to discuss the laying of a 
natural gas pipeline to Indonesia from the Yetagun field, but building 
another pipeline to Thailand or using the gas within Burma are also 
being considered. 

State-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) continues its own oil 
and gas exploration and  production activities. It has discovered 
natural gas in the Aphauk Field, which is estimated to be able to 
produce 80-200 million cubic feet of gas per day. 

State-owned Myanmar Electric and Power enterprise (MEPE) has been 
purchasing natural gas turbine plants.  GEC Alstrom International has 
completed two 33-megawatt capacity gas turbine plants, and is completing 
a 33- and 100- megawatt plant.  To address a critical shortage of 
electricity, the government is encouraging foreign investors to join 
together to finance mini-power plants to supply factories and hotels.  
So far, no such projects have been announced, but MEPE has formed a 
joint venture with the Malaysian firm Unimusro Sdn Bnd (UMC) and the 
Australian firm Transfield to build a USD 40 million 30 megawatt power 
station to supply downtown Rangoon.  The targeted customers are hotels 
and other users in downtown Rangoon, who would pay in dollars.  The 
project is planned to be completed by the end of 1995.

The government is keenly interested in acquiring urea and fertilizer 
plants.  Current fertilizer production of 300,000 tons/yr. is 
insufficient to meet domestic needs.  The government also wants to 
acquire methanol plants in order to export methanol.

Construction (ITA Industry Codes: ACE, ACR, BLD, CON, IRN, APG, HTL)
U.S. engineering and heavy equipment supply companies are competitive in 
Burma's market.  Moreover, Burma produces few construction materials.  
Many are imported via the Chinese and Thai borders, as well as from 
Singapore and Japan.  In addition, foreign companies from Singapore, 
Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Indonesia, Thailand and other 
countries have undertaken numerous construction projects, including 
hotels, shopping malls, office buildings and residential developments.  
The private construction industry has been booming since the early 
1990's.  The government's lack of foreign exchange and access to 
development assistance severely limits the number of large public works 
contracts, however.  Although government agencies buy equipment through 
international tenders, private Burmese have also been buying U.S. and 
other construction equipment and heavy machinery on behalf of Burmese 
government ministries. 

Major public works projects planned or underway include the building of 
two international airports, modernizing the Rangoon and other airports, 
building six major bridges, building a new port for Rangoon, developing 
an industrial and residential zone south of Rangoon, building irrigation 
and hydroelectric dams, railroad and road building, and various projects 
planned for Kachin, Shan and Chin States as part of the government's 
border area development program.  The Ministry of Transport has been 
negotiating with foreign companies to supply improved equipment for 
Rangoon's port. In late 1994, the Ministry of Transport said the best 
prospect for U.S. firms may be a dry-dock to be built at the new port 
site south of Rangoon (Thilawa) to handle 15,000 dead weight ton 
vessels.  He said his Ministry has been talking to Chinese and 
Singaporean firms about this project. (See Chapter II for more 

Agriculture and Agro Industry (ITA Industry Codes: AGC; AGM)

Burma's economy  is heavily agricultural, still operating with 
traditional, primitive, labor intensive cultivation methods.  The 
government has given priority to the agricultural sector, seeking 
increased exports of rice, pulses, beans and some industrial crops, to 
become self sufficient in cooking oil, boost production of cotton, 
chicken, shrimp and fish farming, increase the use of irrigation and 
significantly expand the cultivated area.  The government encourages use 
of mechanization, fertilizer, irrigation, high yield strains and other 

For the 1994/95 growing season, the government has significantly 
expanded the second rice crop, increasing the need for irrigation, 
fertilizer, high-quality seeds, pesticides, machinery and other inputs.  
To promote such imports, the government has removed duties on most 
agricultural inputs.  There is a growing need for simple farm machinery 
and implements. Farmers have more disposable income to spend on 
improving output as rice prices are high and beans and pulses have 
become major exports. As the private sector begins to invest in 
agriculture, demand for such U.S. products as fertilizers, chemicals, 
animal breeding technology, etc. will  increase.  Most imported 
agricultural machinery has come from China and South Korea.

Agro-business investment opportunities have opened up with the new 
policy allowing private and foreign companies to lease fallow and virgin 
lands for 30 years extendible every 10 years.  One Thai company has 
formed a joint-venture with a state-owned agency by leasing over 2000 
acres of land for horticulture and livestock breeding.  Among the 51 
state enterprises that were offered to private investors in January 1995 
were a sheep and goat farm, an all-purpose farm and a canning factory.  
The fertile soils and wide-ranging climatic conditions provide nearly 
endless possibilities for production of highly marketable fruits, 
vegetables, livestock, fish and shrimp.  The potential for food 
processing industries is extremely good.

Mining (ITA Industry Codes: MIN; OGS; USD)
U.S. firms have successfully competed for sales of mining equipment to 
the Burmese government, usually through internationally advertised 
tenders.  Such firms have found having a local representative invaluable 
for obtaining advance information and meeting the frequently very short 
deadlines for bid submission.  As the government reduces its use of 
tenders, local representatives are playing an even greater role in 
helping U.S. companies in the mining sector.  The mining sector is being 
opened to domestic and foreign investors.  The Ministry of Mines has 
signed hundreds of production sharing contracts with local investors for 
jade, gems, gold, tin, tungsten, zinc and other minerals.  The 
government is working to attract foreign investors (on a production-
sharing basis for new deposits and a profit-sharing basis for old 
deposits), to help renovate or develop copper, gold, tin/tungsten, zinc 
and other types of mines.  Following issuance of a new Mining Law in 
September 1994, the Mining Ministry began to offer foreign investors 
more reasonable terms.  The government says it will soon announce the 
signing of contracts with foreign investors for 11 of the 16 blocks 
offered for gold, copper or platinum exploration, exploitation etc., in 
late 1994.  Two of these contracts (both for gold mining) have  been 
announced with Sam Cheong Resources Pte Ltd. of Singapore and Pacific 
Arc Exploration of Australia.  In April 1994, the Canadian Firm, Ivanhoe 
signed for a two-year feasibility study of a copper mine.  In 1992, a 
U.S. firm  began mining granite.  Thai and Chinese firms are mining tin 
and tungsten, coal and other minerals.  Large amounts of minerals are 
also smuggled into Thailand and China.  Thai companies have submitted a 
proposal to develop a zinc deposit in Wali, near the Thai/Burmese 
border.  A Japanese firm, Niino International, has signed a production 
sharing contract for the culture and marketing of pearls.

Industrial Inputs (ITA industry Codes:  YAR, TXF, TXM, FPP, GIE, ICH, 

Inputs to industry have long been one of the major U.S. exports to 
Burma, despite the fact that manufacturing accounted for only 9.4 
percent of GDP in 1994/95.  State-owned Myanmar Heavy Industries (MHI) 
produces cars, trucks, machine tools, tires, agricultural machinery, 
electrical machinery and other products.  The Mining Ministry produces 
iron and steel products.  State factories also produce textiles, 
foodstuffs, beverages, toiletries, cement, pharmaceuticals, enamel ware, 
aluminum ware, rubber goods, marble, porcelain, pulp and paper products, 
paints and jute carpets.  The German firm Fritz Werner imports capital 
equipment and spare parts for machines and cars, and handles re-exports.  
Most of its exports and imports are done on behalf of MHI, the Ministry 
of Heavy Industry and a military-owned private company named Myanmar 
Economic Holdings Ltd.  

U.S. exports of industrial inputs could quickly expand now that foreign 
investment may be starting to shift to industrial projects. The 
government has been trying to attract foreign investment to "industrial 
zones" being developed throughout the country, especially near Rangoon.  
The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has already approved 46 
manufacturing ventures, mostly for textiles, food and beverage 
production.  Mazda has been upgrading production at its plant, which has 
long been making jeeps and trucks for the local market in a joint 
venture with the government.  Daewoo has signed a long-term deal with 
the government that will eventually entail assembling cars in Burma.  
Daewoo is assembling televisions and radio cassette players, and 
exporting circuit boards, TV components, wires and connecting cables.  
Singaporean, Japanese and South Korean investors have signed MOU's or 
made formal investment proposals for several large-scale industrial 
projects, including electronics components and roofing materials.  The 
Embassy has sent lists of recently approved ventures to the Commerce 
Department for inclusion in the National Trade Data Bank.  A few local 
investors are also building new factories, although they are constrained 
by a severe lack of capital.

Although it has gotten off to a tepid start, the government program to 
privatize state factories could lead to a further expansion of industry 
in Burma.  Several factories have been privatized on an ad hoc basis 
through a variety of measures including leasing to private investors and 
buy-back arrangements where the investor supplies raw materials in 
exchange for finished product.  In January 1995, the government 
announced the formation of 2 inter-ministerial committees to oversee 
privatization, and announced 51 enterprises being offered to investors, 
including 8 textile plants, 3 machine tool plants, 2 rice bran oil 
factories and factories producing biscuits, noodles, condensed milk, 
monosodium glutamate, leather goods, matches, paint, dry cell batteries 
and a canning factory.  It was not until May 1995, however, that the 
government agreed on the necessary procedures to allow investors to 
submit proposals to take over these plants.  The poor condition of many 
of these plants and their outdated equipment makes them less attractive 
to investors.  The fact that the government committees have overvalued 
the plants will also slow privatization.  The government promises more 
privatization, however, and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
with Daiwa of Japan to assist in this effort.  The government has said 
foreign investors are welcome to submit proposals for 100 percent 
foreign-owned ventures, joint ventures or contracting arrangements with 
existing state factories.

Computers and Related Industries, Service and Maintenance (ITA Industry 
Codes:  CPT, CSF, CSV)

Burma's rapidly expanding private sector and the increasing number of 
foreign firms opening offices in Burma creates strong possibilities for 
U.S. sales of computers and related items and services.  Computers are 
also being used in industries, including computer-driven sawmills.  
Foreign firms have been doing well providing office automation to banks, 
government offices and private firms.  Burma's growing advertising and 
private printing and publishing industries rely heavily on desktop 
publishing.  Private computer training schools have sprung up throughout 
the country.  Most computers sold in Burma are imported via Singapore. 
Taiwan-made computers, including IBM clones are popular, as are Apple, 
Compaq, AST and other brands. Many computer firms seeking to promote 
their products donate equipment to schools, hospitals and other 
institutions.  Frequent power outages and electrical surges make it 
especially challenging to operate computers in Burma.
Inputs to the Fisheries Industry (ITA Industry Codes: CFE, FPP)

In 1994 the government privatized the fisheries industry through leasing 
and selling facilities to local and foreign investors.  Foreign 
investors have been required to develop onshore facilities in order to 
get fishing rights.  As a result, investors from China, Thailand, 
Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States have been building onshore 
ice factories, cold storage and processing facilities, as well as fish 
and shrimp farms.

Health (ITA Industry Codes; MED; DRG; LAB; DNT)
Burma's need for hospital and dental equipment and supplies, as well as 
pharmaceuticals, is enormous, but foreign exchange available for these 
purposes has been very limited.  The construction of new hospitals, 
especially in the very underdeveloped border areas, will likely  expand 
the market.  Rising purchasing power is also expanding the market.  In 
September 1994, a shopping center opened in Rangoon selling a variety of 
pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical equipment 24 hours a day.   The 
British Firm Glaxo is aggressively pursuing opportunities in the 
pharmaceutical market.  Many firms rely on local agents/distributors for 
pharmaceuticals sales.  Pharmaceutical production is currently limited 
to one state-owned plant, but the government is seeking foreign 
investment for a second plant.  Five private pharmaceutical companies 
supply the one existing state plant with raw materials in exchange for 
finished products. 

Automobiles (ITA Industry Codes: APS; AUT; TRK)
Private firms, especially in the tourism sector, have increasingly been 
importing cars and buses.  The rapidly growing market for trucks and 
vehicles (including four-wheel drive) is currently dominated by non-U.S. 
suppliers.  China is a major supplier of trucks and buses.  Used 
Japanese cars are highly popular.  Germany has begun to sell second-hand 
Mercedes Benzes.  In May 1995, Daewoo and State-owned Myanmar Heavy 
Industries (MHI) signed a Joint Venture to import new cars during the 
first stage and manufacture cars in Burma during the second stage.   
Local manufacture is limited to a government plant assembling an older, 
basic model of Mazda jeeps, but the two sides recently  signed an 
agreement to produce newer model Jeeps. The government began selling 
some newer model jeeps in December 1994.  The demand for left-hand drive 
vehicles should increase if the government enforces its ban on imports 
of right-hand drive vehicles.  In September 1993, the government 
announced the ban, but loosened it in February 1994, allowing imports of 
right-hand drive 24-seat buses, two-ton trucks and pick up trucks.  
Moreover, private companies continue to receive licenses for imports of 
right-hand drive cars, despite the ban.  The 400 percent increase in the 
number of personal cars over the last five years has expanded the market 
for auto parts. 

Aviation, Shipping and Rail Transport (ITA Industry Codes: RRE; TRN; 

As the government gears up for an influx of tourists in "Visit Myanmar 
Year 1996"' it is buying equipment for its airlines.  In 1994, it formed 
a joint venture with a Singaporean Firm Hisonics to launch Myanmar 
Airways International, which is currently leasing two Boeing planes to 
fly international routes.  Also in 1994, the government formed a joint 
venture with the Singaporean firm Techmat to launch Air Mandalay a 
domestic carrier using two French ATR's.  State-owned domestic airline 
Myanmar Airways has bought several newer used Fokkers in order to expand 
and upgrade its service.  

Although the government is upgrading its shipping fleet,  all contracts 
awarded to date have gone to China, especially the Yunnan Machinery 
Import Export Corporation.  Deals have included purchases of large 
freighters and smaller ocean and river vessels, cargo  barges, tug boats 
and upgrading state-owned Myanmar Shipyards.  In May 1995, Japan entered 
the market by signing an Memorandum of Understanding to upgrade Myanmar 
shipyards and provide engineering support for a new port to be built 
south of Rangoon. Indonesian and South Korean firms are actively 
pursuing opportunities in the ship building business.

The government is also expanding its rail network and importing coaches, 
engines and other equipment.  Most such sales have gone to China, 
although state-owned Myanmar Railways has bought U.S. engines.

Hydroelectric Power (ITA Industry Codes: CON; WRE; USD; ACE)
The government is seeking foreign investment in hydroelectric projects, 
especially small-scale ones.  Large parts of Burma lack electricity, or 
are subject to frequent power cuts.  Burma has many rivers with vast, 
untapped hydroelectric potential.  Lack of access to international 
financing severely limits Burma's ability to develop its hydroelectric 
resources, however.  China has helped build several hydroelectric 
projects.  Thailand and other countries and organizations involved in a 
Mekong Delta development project have shown interest in damming the 
Salween river so that Burma can sell electricity to Thailand.  
Meanwhile, the Burmese government is continuing to build hydroelectric 
projects on its own. 

Wood-Based Industries (ITA Industry Codes: FOR; USD; PUL; TLS)
About 50 percent of Burma's land area is forested.  The nation has a 
wide variety of high-quality tropical hardwoods, including 75 percent of 
the world's teak.  There is an immediate need to develop Burma's wood-
based products industry because the government wants to end the forestry 
industry's dependence on exporting logs.  As of December 1, 1993, the 
government ended teak and hardwood concessions granted to Thai merchants 
in the border areas and announced that any firm receiving concessions 
must export an increasing percentage as wood-based products (100 percent 
after four years).  Private log exports have been suspended since March 
31, 1994, and the government is considering a permanent ban.  Although 
an increasing number of private ventures are successfully exporting 
wood-based products, many state mills  cannot yet meet export quality. 
Asian firms are moving rapidly into this market and have formed joint 
ventures with the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) to 
refurbish and manage plywood and other wood based factories.  Several 
foreign firms have formed joint ventures with local private companies to 
manage sawmills.  Drastic changes in government forestry policy in 1994 
and the failure of MTE to supply factories with contracted amounts of 
wood at the contracted price has caused severe disruption to Burma's 
wood-based industry.  Several foreign and local investors declared 
bankruptcy and/ or pulled out saying that  the failure of MTE to fulfill 
contracts to supply wood, the government's unwillingness to supply 
sufficient amounts of wood, and corruption in the timber industry made 
it impossible to do business. 

Consumer Goods (ITA Industry Codes: GCG; CEL; COS; TOY; HCG; MUS; SPT; 

Although per capita income remains extremely low, rising purchasing 
power among some Burmese and very low effective tariff rates have 
enabled firms from several countries to sell increasing amounts of 
consumer goods.  There has been a marked increase in the number of 
stores where foreign consumer goods and foodstuffs can be bought with 
kyat at the unofficial market rate, dollars, other hard currencies, 
foreign exchange certificates and/or U.S. dollar credit cards.  Several 
department stores are importing a variety of products under open general 
licenses.  Several Japanese and South Korean firms have opened or 
expanded stores selling consumer electronics and other goods.  Consumer 
goods also flood in over the border from China and Thailand.  Regular 
trade and rampant smuggling brings in consumer goods from all over Asia, 
including U.S. products that often come via Thailand or Singapore.  
There has been a rapid increase in the amount of foreign goods sold in 
Burma on consignment.  Even remote cities such as Lashio have stores 
selling home electronics on a  consignment basis.  Some such stores are 
supplied by the state-owned Myanmar Export Import Service (MEIS).  Other 
state-owned enterprises are willing to enter consignment agreements 
where they use their name to bring in products on behalf of the foreign 
firm outside the cumbersome import permit system in exchange for a 
commission of 3 to 5 percent of sales.

Travel Industry

The government has launched a major campaign to attract 500,000 tourists 
to Burma for "Visit Myanmar Year - 1996."  Although few people expect 
that goal to be met, the top-level government attention given to 
developing tourism has led to modest improvements in Burma's tourist 
infrastructure, particularly in Rangoon.  Hundreds of local travel 
agencies have sprung up to deal with increasing foreign visitors.  Many 
seek to form alliances with regional and international agencies.  Some 
foreign-owned tour operators have been granted licenses to operate in 
Burma.  The government is looking for foreign firms to help develop 


Increasing local and foreign private investment in construction, 
industry, infrastructure projects, mining, energy and other fields 
creates opportunities for U.S. sales of insurance services.  Currently 
state-owned Myanmar Insurance has a monopoly, but it has made business 
arrangements with some foreign firms, and re-insures many projects, 
offshore, especially in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Other Opportunities for U.S. Firms (ITA Industry Codes:  ACE; MCS; GIE; 

-     Engineering expertise 
-     Generators and related electrical products  
-     Food and Beverage Products

Barriers to Trade and Investment

Despite moderate economic progress and rising purchasing power among the 
growing middle and business class, Burma remains designated by the 
United Nations as a least developed country.  Per capita income is only 
USD 239. 

Foreign entrepreneurs say it has become easier to do business in Burma 
over the past two years as the government has streamlined commercial 
procedures somewhat, confirmed letters of credit have become as accepted 
way of doing business and private and government agencies have more 
foreign exchange to spend.  Nevertheless, cumbersome restrictions left 
over from the socialist period remain, including permits required for 
imports, exports and most other business activities.  Over-regulation is 
made worse by the fact that some government employees regulating 
commerce or working in joint ventures with foreign firms are holdovers 
from the socialist period.  The government's desire to establish a 
market-oriented economy has not yet worked its way deeply enough through 
the bureaucracy to eliminate burdensome regulations and procedures.

Firms connected to government or military officials through joint 
ventures, shareholdings or personal contacts enjoy privileged access to 
raw materials and permits.  Procedures for issuing import and other 
business permits are not transparent, which provides opportunities for 
graft.  Several Burmese importers and exporters say it is extremely 
difficult to work in trade without paying officials for permits.

Although foreign businessmen report that official corruption in Burma is 
on a lower scale than in other nations of South East Asia, it is a 
rapidly growing problem, and affects both local and foreign investors 
and businessmen.  Some businessmen say official corruption makes it 
difficult  for private businesses to earn a profit.  Since the economy 
is in transition from a centrally planned to a market system, rules and 
regulations (especially for imports and exports) are subject to 
amendment with little or no advanced notice, causing considerable 
confusion in the business community.   

The official exchange rate, which overvalues the currency by nearly 20-
fold, is a key impediment to foreign trade and investment.  Burma also 
lacks a significant private banking sector, modern banking practices and 
an independent Central Bank. (See Chapter VIII)

Poor infrastructure is a major impediment to distribution of goods and 
services.  Due to the inadequacy of its narcotics suppression efforts 
and serious abuse of human rights,  Burma has been unable to obtain 
multilateral financial assistance and most bilateral aid has been 
suspended.  The U.S. EXIM bank does not have an active loan program for 
Burma, and OPIC insurance is not available. 

(Barriers to Investment are further discussed in Chapter VII). 

Trade Regulation 

Many private sector imports into Burma are done on the "import first, 
export later" system, whereby the importer undertakes a commitment to 
export products of equal value at a later date.

Tariffs and Import Taxes 

Burma follows the Harmonized System of International Nomenclature. Three 
types of taxes can be levied on imports: import duties; commercial taxes 
and license fees.  Tariffs range from 0 to 500 percent, with cars, 
luxury items, jewelry and items produced in Burma facing the highest 
tariffs.  Tariffs on most other items including consumer goods are 
moderate. Tariffs on most industrial inputs, machinery and spare parts 
are around 15 percent.

Even when the official tariff rate is high, however, the real effective 
tariff is low for most items because the dollar value of imported items 
is converted into kyats at the official exchange rate  before the duty 
is imposed.  For example, an import valued at USD 5,000 is calculated to 
have a value of 30,000 kyat at the official exchange rate, so a 200% 
tariff on this import would be 60,000 kyats.  At the unofficial market 
exchange rate, however, the dollar value of the tariff is closer to USD 
520,  making the real effective tariff about 10 percent.  Effective 
tariff  rates will  rise dramatically if the government re-aligns its 
currency, or changes the way it calculates tariffs.  

Government ministries, state-owned enterprises and government joint 
ventures can import a large variety of industrial inputs, machinery and 
spare parts duty-free.  There is an "exempted" list of industrial 
inputs, machinery, spare parts, electronics, consumer goods and other 
items that the private sector can import duty-free if they import only 
one item.  Importers regularly get travelers to bring back items on the 
exempted list for re-sale to the general public. 

The commercial tax is levied in a wide range of imported and 
domestically produced goods according to a set schedule.  Certain goods, 
mostly basic foods and raw materials, are exempt.  Commercial tax rates 
for imported goods are 10, 20 or 30 percent, depending on the type of 
goods.  Certain type of "foods", such as cigarettes and liquor, face 
commercial tax rates above 30 percent.

Customs Valuation 
The Customs Department usually bases its valuation on CIF value, after 
adding landing charges equal to 0.5 percent of CIF value.  For some 
commodities, Customs uses its own reference guide to determine the value 
of imports.  The guide lists prices in kyat based on the price goods are 
sold for in Burma, and sometimes lists values substantially lower or 
higher than the value outside Burma. 
Import Licenses 
Import permits are required for all items except for those entering 
under the exempted list (see above).  The Ministry of Trade issues 
import permits to registered importers.  Most licenses are valid for six 
months.  A proforma invoice must be attached to the application for an 
import permit.  Procedures for issuing import permits are not 
transparent.  It can be difficult  to obtain an import license without 
good connections with the Ministry of Trade but easy to obtain one if 
such connections have been established.  If all required papers are in 
order, Trade Ministry officials say an import permit can be obtained in 
as little as four hours.  If  additional documents are needed, the 
permit can be issued the next day.

Items on the "Prohibited  List" (see above) are not granted import 
licenses.  The Ministry issues open General Licenses (OGL) to certain 
importers, such as some department stores, to import a variety of 
products.  Open General Licenses are usually for year at a time.  They 
can also go to businesses operating under a permit issued by the Myanmar 
Investment Commission (MIC).  Recipients of OGLs must by the nature of 
their business, have a need to import frequently either for capital 
investment or other business operations. 

State Economic Enterprises (SEEs) conduct their own import and export 
operations without having to obtain permits from the Trade Ministry.  
Foreign companies in joint ventures with the Government can get an 
import or export license from the Trade Ministry on recommendation from 
their SEE partner.

Prohibited Imports 

The Export Import Control Committee, an interagency committee chaired by 
the Deputy Minister for Trade, makes ad hoc amendments to the list of 
prohibited imports.  The list is published in trade bulletins and 
publications, but changes with little notice.  The current list includes 
specialized communications equipment, color copier machines, right-hand 
drive sedans 1990-year model and older, and narcotics.  In the past 
cosmetics and old clothing were among imports temporarily banned.  
Before importing to Burma, it is wise to check the latest import list, 
especially if importing what the government might consider a politically 
sensitive or luxury item.  
Export Controls 

All exports require a permit from the Trade Ministry.   The Ministry 
uses this requirement to mandate that exporters charge what the Ministry 
believes to be the international price.  Exporters say this mandated 
price is often above the market price and sometimes forces exporters to 
re-negotiate signed sales contracts.  There is no written legislation on 
export controls, nor a set list of controlled exports.  The Export 
Import Control Committee has made frequent amendments to the list of 
prohibited exports, issuing temporary bans with little or no advance 
notice. The state has a monopoly on exports of rice, teak, petroleum, 
natural gas, gems, jade, pearl and other items.  Exports of such items 
are controlled by the relevant Ministry.  By obtaining information and 
assistance from the relevant Ministry, these restricted commodities can 
and have been exported by domestic and foreign private exporters.  Some 
items, such as live animals, can be exported by the private sector, but 
the relevant Ministry has to grant permission before the Trade Ministry 
will issue a permit. 

Although the commercial tax on exports has been reduced from 1 to 5 
percent, it must be paid in foreign exchange. 

Import/Export Documentation 
Government-issued Import or Export Declaration forms require some 
attachments.  These forms must list the number, contents description, 
value, weight, measurement or quantity of goods, the country of origin 
and the final destination. 

Temporary Entry 

Written permission is required from the relevant local government agency 
or Burmese Embassy abroad to bring goods in temporarily for seminars, 
trade events or other purposes.  The goods should be declared to Customs 
at the point of entry.  No duties are levied on temporary imports. 

Labeling, Marking Requirements 
The designated port-of-entry must be clearly marked.  The destination 
should be listed as "Yangon, Myanmar" (although "Rangoon, Burma" can be 
listed in parentheses.) 

Free Trade Zones 

Membership in Free Trade Arrangements 

Openness to Foreign Investment 
Government Attitude 
The government is eager to attract foreign investment in order to meet 
an urgent need for foreign exchange and economic development. High-level 
government officials say they will consider any reasonable proposal that 
provides sufficient benefits to Burma.  The law allows the government to 
approve any investment proposal deemed to be in the national interest.  
There have been cases -where, after receiving a proposal from a foreign 
investor, the government has modified laws to accommodate approval of 
the investment.  Government priorities for foreign investment include 
export-oriented industries; exploitation of natural resources; 
production and services; acquisition of high technology and regional 
development.  Most ministries prefer to have a written investment 
proposal they can submit to their technical experts for comment.  
Ministers generally will  not endorse a proposed deal unless the 
Ministry's financial and technical experts certify that the deal is in 
the national interest.  These experts are generally well-trained and 
compare quite favorably to their counterparts in other developing 

Foreign Investment Law 
In 1988, the government promulgated a  Foreign Investment Law permitting 
100 percent foreign ownership in many areas.  Foreign companies may also 
form joint ventures with a private company or state enterprise, as long 
as the foreign firm holds a minimum 35 percent equity share. 

Although the government has allowed the private sector to engage in most 
economic activities, it has retained its monopoly in postal and 
telecommunications services, broadcasting and television services, 
manufacturing of products related to security and defense, rice exports 
and electricity generation.  The government also does not allow foreign 
investment in banking, insurance and conservation of forests and 
plantation on a commercial scale.

The government has relaxed its monopoly, however, to permit foreign 
investment via joint ventures with state-owned agencies in the sale and 
extraction of teak; production and sales of jewelry and pearls; 
extraction and processing of petroleum and natural gas; electricy 
generation; mining; dockyard services; air and rail transport.  In 
mining and oil and gas exploration and development, the foreign party is 
required to sign a production or profit sharing contract with the 
relevant government entity.  Terms have been tough, including large 
signature and production bonuses. The government is considering allowing 
foreign firms to form joint ventures in banking and telecommunications.  
In the banking sector, joint ventures would be with private banks, while 
joint ventures in telecommunications would be with state-owned Myanmar 
Posts and Telecommunications.

Foreign entities cannot own land in Burma, but long-term leases are 
available for 30 years, renewable for additional periods of 30 years.  
In 1991, the government introduced a regulation making up to 500,000 
acres of land available for up to 30 years to private foreign and local 
investors for agricultural development, including fish and livestock 

Screening of Foreign Investment 

Myanmar Investment Commission
There are two main avenues for foreign investment, the Myanmar 
Investment Commission (MIC) and the Companies Act.  An investor seeking 
MIC approval usually goes through the relevant Ministry or local 
partner.  If the investor submits a proposal directly to the MIC, they 
refer it to the relevant Ministry for comment on technical issues.

The Foreign Investment Law is 8 pages long, much shorter than laws in 
other countries.  Provisions spelled out in the investment laws of 
others countries are left to negotiation on a case-by-case basis between 
the investor and the government.  There is often considerable back and 
forth negotiation between the investor and the relevant Ministry.  Once 
the Ministry approves the investment proposal, it goes to the "Office of 
the MIC" where there is further back and forth negotiation between the 
investor, the Ministry and the Office of the MIC.  During these 
negotiations, the government may seek to have the investor include 
provisions in his proposal on a variety of issues, e.g. that 70-80% of 
the production be exported.  As the office of the MIC includes 
representatives from state agencies that may be in competition with the 
foreign investor, these negotiations may seek to impose restrictions on 
the foreign investor.  The full MIC will not consider an investment 
proposal until the Ministry, Office of the MIC and the investor have 
come into  agreement.  During these negotiations, investors often seek 
to have items included in their MIC permit on profit repatriation, 
outside arbitration of business disputes or other areas concern. Having 
such matters spelled out in the MIC-approved investment permit allows 
business to proceed more smoothly because local bureaucrats are often 
fearful of agreeing to an investor's request if it has not been approved 
beforehand in writing by higher officials.  

The MIC is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Rear-Admiral Maung Maung 
Khin.  Burma's other Deputy Prime Minister, serves as Vice Chairman, 
while Minister for National Planning and Economic Development Brig.-
General David Abel serves as the Secretary.  The Joint-Secretary is Daw 
Khine Khine.  Over 14 cabinet ministers serve as MIC members.  The MIC 
has been approving about 95% of the investment proposals that reach it.  
Those rejected are usually from smaller, less established companies, or 
proposals that call for a small amount of capital to be brought into 

Procedures within the MIC have been streamlined, although bureaucratic 
red tape within other Ministries still slows action on investment 
proposals.  For example, formation of a joint venture with a government 
entity requires that the articles of association and Memorandum of 
Understanding be approved by the Attorney General.  In order to conduct 
business after receiving MIC approval, a foreign investor must secure a 
permit to trade from the Ministry of Trade. 

Companies' Act

Investment proposals can be made outside MIC channels under a regular 
company license issued by the Ministry of Trade or the Ministry of 
National Economic Planning, i.e. under the Companies Act.  (The Myanmar 
Companies Act covers the procedural aspects of forming all types of 
companies.)  The minimum foreign investment for such firms is kyat 
1,000,000 (about USD 150,000 at the official exchange rate) or more 
depending on the type of investment.  For example it is kyat 500,000 for 
a foreign industrial firm and kyat 300,000 for trading services.  The 
investment must be paid in hard currency at the official exchange rate.  
In addition, foreign investors without MIC approval must pay annual 
registration renewal fees of kyat 500-1000, in hard currency at the 
official exchange rate.

Investment Incentives 
Tax and other investment incentives are available only to ventures 
approved by the MIC.  The minimum required investment for MIC-approved 
foreign investors has been reduced to USD 100,000, which can be paid in 
cash or equipment.  Investors can also negotiate with the MIC for 
permission to bring in their authorized capital in stages, rather than 
all at once.  The MIC exempts foreign investors from income tax for 
three consecutive years with the possibility of extension; exempts or 
grants relief from customs duties on capital equipment imported during 
the construction period and on raw materials imported in the first three 
years after construction; and offers accelerated depreciation, the right 
to forward losses and relief or exemption from certain other taxes.  
Agricultural investments approved by the MIC are exempt from payment of 
land revenue taxes for 2 to 8 years from the date of the lease, 
depending upon the type of agricultural crop.  These and other 
incentives are specified in the Foreign Investment Law, and are given to 
all investments approved by the MIC.


A major form of discrimination against foreign investors is a 
requirement that they pay their expenses in hard currency at the 
official exchange rate (see below).  Foreign investors must also pay 
income tax on expatriate income in hard currency at the official 
exchange rate.  Burma has a myriad of continually changing regulations 
on imports, exports and other forms of commerce.  Rules change with 
little or no advance notice.  This confusing business climate affects 
foreign and domestic investors, but firms with good local contacts have 
an edge on keeping up with the changes and working their way through the 

Conversion and Transfer Policies 
Non-Convertible and Overvalued Currency 
A main obstacle to foreign investment is an official exchange rate that 
overvalues the domestic currency (kyat) by some 20 times.  Equity 
contributions made under the MIC permit are valued at the official rate, 
although firms making "in-kind" investments of equipment have leeway in 
determining the value of this equipment.  When foreign firms bring in 
foreign exchange to be used for purchases on the local economy, they 
must deposit it in a state bank.  If these funds are withdrawn in kyat, 
their value is calculated at the official exchange rate.  Foreign firms 
can avoid the official exchange rate by paying for services in dollars -
- a number of services can be contracted in dollars at a mutually agreed 
upon price.  Foreign firms can also withdraw funds from their state bank 
accounts in Foreign Exchange Certificates (FECs), which can be spent or 
exchanged for kyat at a market rate.  Many foreign firms also avoid the 
official exchange rate by organizing joint ventures so that the local 
partner assumes all kyat expenses (e.g. labor, rent, domestically 
available inputs).  The government, however, is now demanding payment in 
hard currency for an increasing number of local expenses, including the 
salaries of locally hired management level staff.  Other legal means to 
avoid the official exchange rate include acquiring kyat at the 
unofficial rate by importing goods for resale in kyat, countertrade or 
production sharing arrangements, or generating a supply of kyat through 
local sales.  A number of investment projects have been delayed while 
the investor seeks out a suitable arrangement for legally converting his 
hard currency to kyat at the market rate.

The kyat is not freely convertible.  Kyat and FECs cannot be taken out 
of Burma.  The government strictly limits outflows and inflows of funds 
for any purpose, including debt service, imported inputs, capital, 
returns on intellectual property and profit remittance.   

Although the Foreign Investment Law allows an investor who has brought 
foreign exchange into Burma to withdraw foreign exchange, including net 
profits, it is difficult to do so.  The Foreign Investment Law says the 
following about repatriation of funds for investments approved by the 

Foreign Currency 

     There is a limit to what foreign investors can take out of  Burma.  
Foreign investors must open a foreign exchange account at the Myanma 
Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) and the Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank 
and any transaction is  required to go through these banks.  (NOTE:  
Since this law was written, four private banks have also received 
permission to handle foreign exchange, but they currently operate mainly 
as windows for the MFTB.)  

      Withdrawal of foreign investment capital in relevant foreign 
currency at the prevailing official rate at termination of business is 

     With the permission of the Foreign Investment  Commission (Note: 
Now re-named the Myanmar Investment Commission), an investor can 
transfer abroad his entitlement in relevant currency. 

     o     Withdrawal of net profits is allowed after deducting all 
taxes and prescribed funds from the annual profits received by the 
person who has brought in foreign capital.

     Withdrawal of the legitimate balance is allowed after paying taxes 
and deducting living expenses out of the (foreign investor's) salary and 
after deducting lawful income obtained by the foreign personnel during 
their stay in Burma. 

On a case-by-case basis, the government will  allow foreign investors 
earning hard currency through exports to repatriate a proportion of 
these earnings after paying the necessary taxes.  Kyat earnings cannot 
be repatriated.  Foreign firms often use countertrade to repatriate 
earnings.  Typically,  they buy a local product in kyat and export it.  
If the firm is incorporated in Burma, the export earnings must be 
deposited in the firm's foreign currency account at a state-owned bank 
in Burma, but can be repatriated after taxes are paid.  If  the firm is 
incorporated outside Burma, the firm does not have to return its 
earnings from the countertrade export to Burma.  Many foreign firms 
seeking to repatriate profits leave the countertrade to a local firm; 
they merely negotiate the exchange rate with the local firm,  which 
acquires some local product, sells it offshore and puts the money in an 
offshore account through a local bank by opening a letter of credit.

Expropriation and Compensation

The government continues sporadically to seize land and other property 
from its citizens and forcibly relocate people.  Such seizures are done 
without due process or transparency of purpose, and are not in 
accordance with international law.  Owners of seized property do not 
receive adequate or effective compensation. Foreign and domestic 
investors who had property seized during the 1960's have tried without 
success to obtain adequate compensation.  Foreign firms, however, have 
not reported property seizures since enactment of the Foreign Investment 
Law, which explicitly forbids expropriation during the term of the 
investment contract.  Burmese law and the guidelines for the new 
constitution currently being discussed contain guarantees against 
nationalization of private property. 
Dispute Settlement

Although Burmese law stipulates that commercial disputes are to be 
handled solely under Burmese arbitration, the Foreign Investment Law 
allows contracts to list other options, including appointment of an 
arbitrator and, in a few cases, international arbitration.  This 
provision may be modified in the future to more closely comply with 
other countries' laws and practices.  Burma is not a member of the 
International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes nor is it 
a party to the New York Convention. 

Most businesses involved in disputes seek to settle the matter 
informally, rather than rely on the cumbersome legal system.  The 
government actively encourages settlement between parties to a dispute.  
Several arbitration groups have been formed.  Since enactment of the 
Foreign Investment Law, one dispute has gone to court, which ruled in 
favor of the foreign investor.   Some local and foreign investors who 
had property seized during the 1960s have continued to seek 
compensation.  Some disputes concern blocked bank accounts, where the 
Burmese government has given permission for the withdrawal of funds from 
these accounts but not for repatriation overseas. 

Political Violence 
There have been insurgencies in several border areas, although cease-
fire agreements have been signed with all but two insurgent groups and 
one armed group run by a drug warlord.  Peace treaties have not been 
signed, however.  Government control of the border areas is weak or non-
existent.  In 1988, the entire country was convulsed by widespread, 
violent disturbances that had started in protest against one-party rule 
and economic mismanagement.  Economic activity was at a near standstill 
for many weeks and many factories were destroyed or severely damaged. 
Thousands were killed when the military seized direct control of the 
country and sharply repressed  all opposition.  The current high level 
of repression leaves no outlet for the widespread      resentment among 
the populace against the military regime.  Although tight repression 
means that immediate prospects for political disturbances appear low,  
the situation is inherently unstable and impossible to predict.  The 
potential for violent, widespread disturbances is present. 

Performance Requirements/Incentives 
There are no stated performance requirements, but the government imposes 
de facto ones.  The relevant Ministry and/or the office of the MIC may 
not allow the full MIC to consider a proposal until the investor has 
included these de facto performance requirements, e.g. on exports and 
foreign exchange earnings.   Minor changes in the operation, 
capitalization and structure of an investment can be made without MIC 
approval.  However, substantial changes would be subject to MIC review, 
and past performance would undoubtedly be a factor in the Commission's 

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment 
The standard of competitive equality is not applied to private 
enterprises in competition with public enterprises or cooperatives, or 
even to private firms competing among themselves.  Good connections, 
rather than free competition, often determine which 
private, state or cooperative firms get access to needed inputs and 

Protection of Property Rights 
Foreigners and foreign-owned companies are not allowed to acquire, sell 
or transfer immovable property in Burma, but rights to acquire and hold 
other types of property are generally respected.  All  the same, seeking 
protection for such rights from Burmese courts can be difficult.  
Although Burma has a well developed legal system based on British law, 
in  practice the system is undermined by corruption, unprofessional 
behavior on the part of some legal officials, and blatant political 
interference in certain cases. 

Regulatory System 

Enforcement of tax, labor, health and other regulations is haphazard and 
can be arbitrary. Although foreign investors have not complained of 
confiscatory taxes, some restaurants, hotels and other businesses have 
been forced to close for short periods due to excessive taxation.  Tax 
assessments can be arbitrarily high because tax collectors have 
considerable leeway in determining the income and net profit of 
businesses.  Moreover, various government Ministries charge taxes and 
fees in addition to regular taxes.  The hotel sector is especially hard 
hit, because government Ministries see hotels as a source of dollars and 
therefore charge a variety of fees in hard currency, seemingly at whim.  
Government officials frequently press local and foreign firms to 
"donate" to "civic"  causes such as government displays marking various 
official celebrations.  Local firms that refuse to turn over their 
assigned "donations" have faced difficulties getting permits needed to 
do business. 
Bilateral Investment Agreements 
OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs

Because its government does not respect international norms on workers' 
rights, Burma is ineligible for OPIC programs.  Burma is not a member of 
the Multilateral Guaranty Agency (MIGA).   

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment 
The financial sector in Burma is just starting to modernize.  Burma 
lacks a significant private banking sector, modern banking practices, a 
stock market, and an independent Central Bank.  The government controls 
interest rates for private and state banks at negative real levels.  The 
maximum allowed loan rate is 17 percent. Tight controls on activities by 
the handful of private banks include controls on the amount of money 
that can be loaned to any one client.  Only a few private banks linked 
to the government can handle foreign exchange.  Lending from state banks 
to the private sector is virtually nonexistent, except for loans to 
farmers by the state-owned Myanmar Agricultural Bank and Rural 
Development Bank.  Lending from private banks has increased, but remains 
very limited. There is no venture or development capital available for 
start-up enterprises.  Private domestic companies usually borrow via the 
informal, black market system, usually with gold or property as 
collateral.  Interest rates are generally 3-4 percent per month for a 
collateral loan, and 5 to 8 percent per month for a non-collateral loan.  
Foreign investors, especially in joint ventures with a government 
entity, have significantly greater access to domestic credit.  Legal, 
accounting, and regulatory systems are not transparent, nor are they 
consistent with international norms. 

With a young population of over 43 million, Burma's labor supply is 
abundant and inexpensive but lacking knowledge, experience in modern 
business and manufacturing methods.  Although literacy rates are high, 
years of falling educational standards, aggravated by the closing of the 
universities for nearly four years after the violent suppression of pro-
democracy demonstrations in 1988, has taken its toll on the quality of 
skilled labor and professional services.  In the past, Burma's educated 
class was nearly bilingual, but as a result of several decades of 
neglect of English language training, fewer younger people speak or 
understand English well. 
The situation is improving in the major population centers as younger 
students acquire computer skills at recently opened private training 
institutes.  There are also a small number of students who have returned 
after two/three years of training abroad, especially in Singapore, Japan 
and the United States.  The presence of foreign oil firms and service 
companies has also helped to increase the pool of trained personnel. 

In certain cases, foreign firms or joint ventures have been constrained 
from hiring employees freely, particularly when forming a joint venture 
with a government enterprise to take over an operating production 
facility.  In other cases, enough flexibility seems to have been written 
into such contracts that this has not been a serious problem.  Overall, 
foreign firms find Burmese labor easily trainable, hard-working, well-
disciplined and motivated. 

In 1989, the United States withdrew Burma's eligibility for benefits 
under the Generalized System of references (GSP) due to the absence of 
internationally recognized worker rights.  Workers are unable to 
organize, negotiate or in any other way exercise control over their 
working conditions.  Although regulations set a minimum employment age 
and wage, and maximum work hours, these are not uniformly observed, 
especially in private factories and other establishments.  The 
government uses forced adult labor in infrastructure construction and 
porterage for the military in active combat zones.  These labor 
practices are not consistent  with Burma's obligations under ILO  
Conventions  29 and 87. 

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports 
Capital Outflow Policy
Foreign exchange transactions can be handled only by the state-owned 
Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB), Myanma Commercial and Investment Bank 
(MICB), Myanmar Economic Bank (MEB), and four private banks tied to the 
government.  Citizens who earn foreign currency must deposit their 
earnings in these banks.  Burmese citizens cannot export foreign 
exchange, but, after paying 10 percent of the amount in taxes, can 
withdraw the rest in FEC's or use it to purchase airline tickets for 
personal use or for commodities sold at specially authorized retail 


Types of Investment 

Investment figures published by the Burmese government include only 
investment approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).  These 
figures do not include the bulk of Chinese investment, which has 
included mining, some manufacturing and many infrastructure projects.  
Moreover, roughly USD 500 million has been invested through the 
Companies Act, especially from Thailand and Singapore.  
Levels of Investment

As of March 31, 1995, the government reported that total MIC-approved 
foreign investment was USD 2.6 billion.  USD 326 million of this amount 
is investment in projects that have already been completed, leaving USD 
2.2 billion in still active (i.e. "existing") projects. (The amount of 
total approved foreign investment for both existing and terminated 
projects is listed in the appendix.)  Two projects, together worth USD 
400 million, were approved between March 31 and June 20, 1995.  One 
project was in hotels and tourism, the other was for manufacturing.  As 
of June 20, the government reported that approved investment in 109 
"existing" (i.e. still ongoing) projects was USD 2.6 billion. 

In 1994/95 the oil and gas sector has received the most investment, 
thanks partly to the USD one billion Total pipeline and natural gas 
production project.  (This amount is to be invested over the 30-year 
life of the project).  The hotels and tourism sector received the second 
largest amount of foreign investment, USD 514 million.

Total Investment Approved By the Myanmar Investment Commission for 
Existing Projects By Sector 

March 31, 1989 through March 31, 1995 
 (in millions of U.S. Dollars) 

Sector               Number of Projects        Amount Approved 
                     (Existing Projects)

Hotels and Tourism          26                     488.04
Oil and Gas                 15                    1360.22 
Mining                       5                      13.21 
Manufacturing               46                     134.74 
Fisheries                   11                     235.95 
Agriculture                  1                       2.69 
Transport                    3                       2.30

TOTAL                      107                    2237.15 

The 1994/95 boom in luxury hotel projects was accompanied by a sharp 
jump in manufacturing ventures.  Twenty nine foreign investment projects 
were approved between August 1994 and March 1995, most of them in 
manufacturing, followed by fisheries and hotel/tourism sectors.  Mining 
investment includes production sharing contracts for two gold processing 
plants.  Investment in the transport sector includes the formation of 
Air Mandalay, a joint venture between a Singaporean firm and state-owned 
Myanmar Airways to provide domestic air transportation. Other major 
investments have included oil and gas production, electronics 
production, sawmills, wood-based industries, and garment industries.

Investment in mining may increase further in 1995.  The government is 
expected to announce the awarding of 9 mining blocks to foreign and/or 
local investors sometime in the future.  Manufacturing investment may 
also see a boost.  South Korean investors are seeking MIC approval for 
an electronics components factory, and Japanese investors have signed 
Memoranda of Understanding for a factory making roofing materials and a 
factory making cables/fiber optics.

Investment Flows 
Foreign investment more than doubled in 1994/95, with USD 1.4 billion in 
investment being approved, by far the largest amount since promulgation 
of the Foreign Investment law in 1989.  USD 1.0 billion of this amount 
was in the oil and gas sector.  The fisheries sector attracted the 
second largest amount of investment during 1994/95, USD 148 million, 
followed by hotels and tourism with USD 86.1 million and manufacturing 
with USD 76.3 million.

Previously, the last large spurt of foreign investment was in 1989/90 
when ten foreign companies, including two American firms, signed 
production sharing contracts for oil exploration and development, and 
gained MIC approval for investments worth a total of USD 449 million.  
Foreign investment inflows slowed thereafter, and eventually most 
foreign companies exploring for oil and gas onshore left without making 
commercially significant discoveries.  In 1991/92, Burma attracted only 
USD 6.0 million in new foreign investment.  Foreign investment began to 
recover in 1992/93.

Flow of Total Investment Approved by the Foreign Investment 

Commission, by Fiscal Year (as of March 31, 1995) 
 (in millions of U.S. Dollars) 

1989/90     1990/91     1991/92     1992/93     1993/94  1994/95 
449.49       280.57        5.89      103.78      377.60    1351.88

Ownership of Foreign Investment

As of April 1995, 38 of the 107 foreign investment projects were joint 
ventures with state economic enterprises, while an additional 19 were 
production sharing contracts between foreign investors and state 
economic enterprises.  Eight foreign investments were joint ventures 
with the military-owned private company Myanmar Economic Holdings (MEH).  
(MEH's shareholders are all active or retired military.  Its partnership 
with foreign investors includes textile factories, consignment stores 
and hotels).  Sixteen foreign investments were joint ventures with other 
local private companies. Twenty-two projects were wholly-owned by a 
foreign investor. 

Existing Foreign Investment Enterprises as at March 31, 1995
by Form of Organization

Sr.     Particulars                         No.     Amount of
No.                                             Foreign Capital
                                               (USD in millions)

1. 100 percent foreign owned                22       385.84
2. Joint Venture with                       66       481.11
  (a) State Economic Enterprises            38       304.83
  (b) Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd.         8        39.36
  (c) Yangon City Development Committee      1         1.00
  (d) Private Enterprises                   16       130.08
  (e) Cooperatives Society                   3         5.84
3. Production Sharing Basis                 19      1370.20

Total                                      107      2237.15
Major Foreign Investors 
According to March 1995 Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) statistics, 
which record only investment approved by the MIC, the United Kingdom is 
the largest foreign investor in Burma.  United Kingdom investment 
includes enterprises incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and 
Bermuda.  In 1995, British firms launched joint ventures in lingerie 
production and cigarette manufacturing.  France is the second largest 
foreign investor, while Singapore is third and the United States is 
fourth.  Most U.S. investment is in the oil and gas sector.

Total Investment Approved By the Myanmar Investment Commission

By Country for Existing Enterprises

March 31, 1989 through March 31, 1995 
      (in millions of U.S. Dollars) 
     Country                Amount Approved 

     United Kingdom               630.66 
     France                       499.92
     Singapore                    295.69 
     United States                269.11
     Thailand                     257.16
     South Korea                   91.19 
     The Netherlands               83.00
     Malaysia                      69.57
     Hong Kong                     41.04
     Philippines                    6.67
     China                          5.50 
     Australia                      3.00
     Macao                          2.40 
     Bangladesh                     0.10
     Canada                         0.00

     TOTAL                       2237.15

The above figures are somewhat misleading, because they do not consider 
minority shareholdings and list investments under the nationality of the 
original investor.  For example, about USD 23 million of investment by 
Texaco is listed under the name of the British firm that signed the 
original investment contract, and then became a minority shareholder 
when Texaco bought out and expanded the investment.  Pepsico's joint 
venture with a local private firm to produce and market Pepsi products 
locally is not reflected in these figures because it was not subject to 
Myanmar Investment Commission approval. 
Description of Banking System 
By June 1995, 15 private banks had opened (four of which were at least 
partly owned by government or military officials through either joint 
ventures or shareholdings).  The government tightly controls private 
bank activity by controlling the amount of money they can loan, 
maintaining fixed negative real interest rates for savings and loans and 
denying most private banks the right to deal in foreign exchange.

Total deposits of the private banks have risen to about K. 5.8 million 
kyat, while total lending stands around 4.2 billion kyat.  Although a 
1990 banking law permitted foreign banks to open branches in Burma, none 
of the handful that applied have received permission to open.  The 
government is considering allowing joint ventures between foreign and 
some local banks.  By June 1995, 27 foreign banks had received 
permission to open representative offices in Burma (Arab Bangladesh 
Bank, Ltd. -- Bangladesh; Global Commercial Bank -- Cambodia; Nova 
Scotia Bank -- Canada; Banque National d'Paris, Banque Francaise du 
Commerce Exterieur, Banque Indo Suez -- France; Shanghai Banking 
Corporation Ltd. -- Hong Kong; Panin Bank International Inc. Nauru, Bank 
Dagang National Indonesia -- Indonesia; Sakura Bank (formally known as 
Mitsui Taiyo Kobe), The Bank of Tokyo -- Japan; Malayan Banking Berhad, 
Public Bank Berhad, Bank of Commerce (M) Berhad -- Malaysia; Abn Amro 
Bank NV -- the Netherlands; the Development Bank, Keppel Bank, United 
Overseas Bank Ltd., the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation, Overseas 
Union Bank Ltd. -- Singapore; Thai Military Bank, Siam City Bank Ltd., 
Thai Farmers Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Bangkok Bank Ltd., Bank of Ayudhya 
Public Co. Ltd. -- Thailand; Standard Chartered Bank -- United Kingdom).

These offices fall under the jurisdiction of the Central Bank and serve 
as a trade and commerce liaison for local and foreign clients.  Several 
also help arrange offshore financing for business in Burma.

The highly skewed official exchange rate and other factors limits the 
interest of foreign banks in operating in Burma. 

Until recently, the state-owned Myanma Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB),  
Myanma Investment Commercial Bank (MICB) and Myanma Economic Bank (MEB) 
were the only banks allowed to deal in foreign exchange.  The MFTB 
handles foreign currency transactions for individuals and the MICB for 
companies.  MEB handles foreign currency transactions in border trade 
regions.  In April 1994, the government allowed four private banks to 
handle foreign exchange, including letters of credit.  These four banks 
are tied to the government through joint ventures or shareholdings.  The 
extent of their foreign currency operations is growing, but it is not 
yet clear whether foreign firms and individuals can have foreign 
exchange accounts at these private banks.  Both foreign and Burmese 
citizens and companies can open hard currency accounts at the state 
banks.  Among Burmese citizens and companies, however, only a few 
authorized vendors are allowed to handle foreign specie and then only 
for a short period of time before being required to deposit it in a 
foreign currency account.  Banking practices and regulations, especially 
regarding foreign exchange, may change in the future. 
Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trade 
The Burmese currency, the kyat, is not convertible and is artificially  
pegged to the IMF's Special Drawing Right (SDR).  This overvalues the 
currency by some 20 times.  International trade is almost exclusively 
conducted in hard currency, usually U.S. dollars.  In addition, 
barter/countertrade is used with payment in rice, hardwoods, 
agricultural, forestry or other products.  Government countertrade 
remains suspended.  As the Government tries to boost export earnings by 
switching to cash sales, however, the amount of products available for 
countertrade is shrinking.  Nevertheless, the severe lack of foreign 
exchange and the overvalued exchange rate force most exporters to Burma 
to rely on buy-back countertrade. 

How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment 
Many exports are done on an "import first, export later" basis.  A 
foreign firm sends the items on consignment to a local import/export 
firm,  which sells them and pays the agreed amount to the foreign firm.  
Foreign companies also set up their own trading companies to receive 
imports and handle other countertrade.  Some ministries, state-owned 
enterprises and businesses use their own sources of foreign exchange to 
import products.  Some have agreed to small-scale purchases of  imports 
in kyats at the market rate.   

Availability of Financing 
Until 1988, Burma relied heavily on foreign assistance and concessional 
loans to finance major projects in mining, agriculture, infrastructure 
and other areas.  Following the military government's violent 
suppression of a pro-democracy uprising in 1988,  most multilateral and 
bilateral assistance was suspended, including U.S. aid. Because of its 
inadequate narcotics suppression efforts, serious violations of human 
rights and lack of progress toward initiating domestic reform, Burma is 
ineligible for U.S. aid and the United States and other countries oppose 
loans and financial assistance to Burma by multilateral financial 
institutions.  The United States and other countries oppose loans and 
financial assistance by multilateral financial institutions.  The U.S. 
EXIM  bank does not have an active loan program for Burma. In the past, 
the Japanese government made limited funds available to the Burmese 
government in return for loan re-payments for use in agriculture, 
energy, and mining.  In November 1994, the Japanese government announced 
it would resume some Official Development Aid (ODA) humanitarian 
The active involvement of Asian firms in Burma has led to increased 
financing being available from Singaporean, Hong Kong and other Asian 

List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements 

-State-owned Banks

-- Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB)  
   80/86 Maha Bandoola Garden Street (P.O. Box 203), Yangon  
   Tel: 01-81810; Telex: 21300/21332/21348/21349 AB BANKFE BM 
   Fax: 095-01-89585  
   Contact:  Managing Director  

   Correspondent U.S. Banks for MFTB:

     -  Bank of America
     -  Bankers Trust Co.
     -  Chase Manhattan Bank
     -  Citi Bank, New York
     -  American Express

-- Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB) 
           526/532 Merchant Street, P.O. Box 442), Yangon
           Tel: 80395/78421; Telex: 21244 MICBBK BM  

Correspondent U.S. Banks for MICB

-  Citi Bank, New York
     -  American Express

-- Private Banks (with Foreign Exchange capacity)

- Cooperatives Bank Limited 
   334/336, Strand Road (Corner of 23rd St.), Yangon 
   Contact: General Manager

- Myawaddy Bank Limited 
   189, Sule Pagoda Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon 
   Contact: U Tun Kyi, General Manager (Tel:01-87900/87866) 

- Myanma Citizens Bank 
   383 Maha Bandoola Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon
Contact:  U Than Aung, Managing Director (Tel: 01-73512) 

 - Yangon City Bank Ltd. 
   Sepin Street, Sule Pagoda Road, Yangon 
   Contact: U Sein Mra, Manager (Tel: 01-89256) 

NOTE:  These banks have not yet established relations with U.S. 
correspondent banks.  However, Yangon City Bank has established a  
correspondent relationship with Development Bank (DBS) of Singapore, 
Keppel Bank of Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank,  Singapore, Hong Kong 
& Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong, Bank Francaise du Commerce Exterieur Paris 
(BFCE) and Bank of Tokyo in Tokyo and in New York.

Business Customs -- Obtaining Appointments with Government Officials 
Since the Burmese government wants to attract foreign business, it has 
relaxed procedures for foreign firms seeking appointments with 
government officials.  Ministries prefer that foreign firms seeking 
appointments to contact them directly in writing (including by fax or 
telex).  The U.S. Embassy will follow-up on appointment requests by U.S. 
firms, when requested to do so.  

Official working hours for the government are 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, but 
some government officials do not remain at their jobs for the entire 
workday.  It is difficult to confirm appointments with government 
officials, often they will confirm an appointment only an hour or two 
beforehand.  Moreover, officials may be summoned to meet their 
superiors, forcing them to break other appointments.
International Connections  

Myanmar Airways International (MAI), Silk Air (subsidiary of Singapore 
Air),  Biman (Bangladesh), Air China (CAAC) and Thai Airways provide 
direct service to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Jakarta, Hong Kong, 
Bangkok, Dhaka and China.  An Indonesian airline and Air India are also 
expected to provide direct flight services to Burma.  Singapore is the 
most important gateway for transshipment of goods to and from the United 
States -- Myanma Five Star, American President Lines and other foreign 
vessels handle such shipments.     

Business visas are valid for 14 days, and extendable from one to three 
months.  In most cases, business visas should be obtained from Burmese 
Embassies abroad.  Sponsorship is generally not required, but if the 
Burmese Embassy has questions about the foreign businessperson, it  will  
request sponsorship from Burmese government agencies or local private 
companies.  The application process for business visas varies from one 
week to one month, depending on the country where the visa is obtained 
and whether application is made in person or through the mail.  Tourist 
visas are valid for 28 days.  Group tours as well as foreign independent 
travelers (FIT)  are allowed.  A minimum of 3 days to a week should be 
allowed for the issuance of tourist visas.  There are over 100 
registered travel agencies operating in Burma, some of which are listed 
in the Annex B. 

Foreign Exchange Controls/Procedures  
The Burmese government is strict in enforcing customs and currency 
control regulations.  There is no limit to the amount of foreign 
currency and travelers' checks that can be brought into Burma, but any 
amount over USD 2000.00 must be fully and accurately declared in detail 
on the customs and currency declaration form visitors receive upon 
arrival.  Any currency exchanged for kyat must be traded at an official 
exchange facility and noted on the back of the currency declaration 
form.  No kyat may be brought into or taken out of Burma.  The penalty 
for violation of these laws is a six-month minimum prison sentence 
and/or a fine. 

In February 1993, the Burmese Government introduced Foreign Exchange 
Certificates (FECs). FEC 1.00 is equivalent to USD 1.00.  FECs are legal 
tender within Burma.  They are commonly accepted by hotels and major 
restaurants, but their acceptance by merchants varies.  Most visitors 
arriving on tourist visas are asked to exchange USD 300 in either U.S. 
dollars or British pound sterling into FEC upon arrival at the airport.  
The original 300 FEC cannot be reconverted on departure from Burma.  
Unutilized amounts of FEC above 300 can be reconverted at the airport at 
the time of departure, if the visitor presents the FEC vouchers.  
Occasionally, the airport exchange counter has run out of dollars or 
pound sterling before being able to reconvert all excess FEC for 
departing visitors. 

There is no limit to exchanging U.S. dollars or British pound sterling 
for FECs at the legal exchange centers, including those at the airport, 
hotels, state-owned banks, counters run by Myanmar Hotels and Tourism 
Services and those counters run by FEC exchange license holders in 
Rangoon's main tourist market ("Aung San" or "Scott" market).  The open 
market rate for FECs varies between FEC 1.00 equals kyat 60.00 - 115.00, 
depending on the merchant or business accepting FECs.  Visitors can use 
traveler's checks or credit cards (American Express, Visa) to obtain 
FEC, but cannot change credit cards or traveler's checks to obtain hard 
Although airport procedures have relaxed, personal baggage can be 
subject to a thorough search both on arrival and departure.  All 
valuables such as cameras, radios, tape recorders, and jewelry must be 
declared on entry, and full duty must be paid on any item left in the 
country, for whatever reason (including loss or theft).  Departing 
tourists who declared over USD 2000.00 on arrival must have receipts for 
all items purchased in Burma and the amounts of their purchases must 
tally with the amount of foreign currency exchanged for kyat or FEC.  
It is extremely difficult to cash personal checks in Burma.  American 
Express Credit Cards may be used at some hotels and stores.  Visa and 
Master Card are also accepted but only for purchases not exceeding USD 
500.00.  The MFTB offers cash advances in FEC for Visa and American 
Express credit cards. 
It is always advisable to confirm hotel reservations prior to arrival.  
Hotel space in Rangoon can be tight during the winter and special events 
such as the semi-annual gem emporiums held in the early spring and fall.  
Hundreds of small but clean and comfortable private hotels, guest houses 
and inns have opened (some are listed in the Annex C) and can accept 
foreign guests.  Four world class hotels opened in 1993/94 and about 12 
are scheduled to open between 1995/96. 
Ground Transportation  
In addition to the private, small, pick-up truck type taxis, private 
transport hiring services are available at most hotels.  The government 
also maintains taxi stands at hotels and other sites, with daily or 
hourly rates payable in dollars or FECs only. Private tourist agencies 
are now licensed to rent vehicles (with driver) to foreign 
businesspersons and tourists (also payable only in dollars or FECs).  It 
is advisable to arrange transportation from the airport prior to arrival 
through a travel agency or local business contact.  
Burmese is the official language, although many businesspersons and 
government officials speak English.  English and Burmese are widely 
spoken and used for official purposes including legal texts, official 
forms and other business documentation.  English fluency is not 
universal.  Some top government officials, for example, deal with 
foreigners only through an interpreter.

Health and Food 
Water is not potable, even for brushing teeth.  Visitors should avoid 
dairy products and uncooked or undercooked meat and vegetables.  
Visitors should consult their physician or local health authorities for 
a list of recommended immunizations prior to arrival.  Although malaria 
is not a problem in Rangoon, malaria suppressants should be taken if 
traveling to some parts of the country.
Holidays (1995) 

January 4 (Independence Day), February 12 (Union Day), March 2 
(Peasants' Day), March 15, (Full moon day of Tabaung), March 27 (Armed 
Forces), April 12 - 16 (Water Festival), April 17 (Burmese New Year), 
May 1 (Workers' Day), May 13 (Full Moon of Kason), July 11 (Full Moon of 
Waso), July 19 (Martyrs' Day),  October 8 (Full Moon of Thadingyut), 
November 6 (Full Moon of Tazaungdaing), November 16 (National Day), 
December 25 (Christmas). 

NOTE: Karen New Year, Idd, Deepavali public holidays notices are 
announced a few days ahead. 

Country Data 
1.  Profile 
-Population:  43.92 
-Population Growth Rate:  1.87% 
-Religion(s):  Buddhist 
-Government System:  Military Dictatorship 
-Language:  Burmese (Myanmar) 
-Work Week:  Monday - Friday 
2.  Domestic Economy 

                             1992/93     1993/94     1994/95     1995/96
                              (Prov.)     (Prov.)     (Est.)    (Actual)

-GDP (at current prices)     249,395     351,333     436,427     475,158 

(kyat in million)
-GDP (at current prices)      41,036      57,516      74,569      79,193 

(USD in million)
-GDP (at constant prices)     54,757      58,001      61,950     66,716

(kyat in million)  
-GDP (at constant prices)      9,010       9,379      10,585      11,119

(USD in million)
-GDP Growth Rate                 9.7%       5.9%       6.8%       7.7
-GDP per Capita(kyat)            1293       1345       1410       1491 
-GDP per Capita(USD)              212        220        240        249 
-Government                     22.1%      22.3%      22.2%      21.9% 
 Spending share of GDP
-Inflation                      22.3%      33.6%      32.0%        35% 
-Unemployment                     N.A.      N.A.      N.A.        N.A.
-Agriculture                     38.5      37.9      38.1        38.0
(as percent of GDP)
(as percent of GDP)              12.9      13.4       9.4         9.8      
-Gross Domestic Savings         13.1%     11.5%       N.A.       N.A.
 (as percent of GDP)*
Gross Domestic Investment       12.5%     10.5%       N.A.       N.A.
  (as percent of GDP)* 
-Foreign Exchange              260.0      350.0     400.0       500.0     
 Reserves (USD in million)
-Average Ex. Rate             6.0774     6.1084     5.8527     6.0000 
 for USD 1.00 (=kyat)
-Foreign Debt(USD billion      4.815      4.815      4.815        5.5
-Debt Service Ratio             18.3        N.A.       N.A.       N.A.
-U.S. Economic and              -             -             -              
 Military Assistance           

                           (USD in millions)
3. Trade                 1992/93     1993/94     1994/95    1995/96
                          (Prov.)     (Prov.)     (Est.)    (Actual)

-Total Country Exports     601.3       692.1       815.5     1,098.8 
-Total Country Imports     882.8     1,297.1     1,557.7     1,057.7
-U.S. Exports**              N.A.        12.0        11.0      N.A.      
-U.S. Imports**              N.A.        46.3        67.2      N.A.       
-U.S. Share of               N.A.        N.A.         N.A.      N.A.      
Host Country Imports 

NOTE: The government revises its economic data over a three-year cycle.  
Data for 1995/96 are  "estimated".  Data for 1994/95 are "provisional".  
Data for 1993/94 are "provisional actual".  Only data for 1992/93 are 
now available in final.

*Source:GOB figures provided to the Business Study Mission
 on June 1995.

**Source: U.S. Customs data, only 1993 and 1994 Calendar Year data 

Source: (Unless otherwise stated) "Review of the Financial, Economic and 
Social Conditions 1994-95", Ministry of National Planning and Economic 

1994/95 Official Budget Figures as published in: -

                       Annual Review          Government Press
                       (Kyat in millions)     (Kyat in millions)

Central Govt Spending          44,100               45,154     
State Economic Enterprise      91,942               95,356
Town and City Dev. Comm.         12.6                   13          
Total Public Sector Spending  136,054              140,523
Total Public Sector Receipts  111,620               90,159
Balance of Financial Account -1,480.6                    -
Overall Balance             -25,914.8                    -
Deficit                     -24,434.2              -50,364
Spending/GDP                     31.2                 32.2
Deficit/GDP                       5.6                 11.5

Overall Balance/GDP               5.9                    -

Sources: "Review of the Financial, Economic and Social Conditions 1994-
95", Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and "The New 
Light of Myanmar", local English newspaper.

Balance of Payments      (Kyat in millions)     
                     1992/93     1993/94     1994/95     1995/96
                         (Prov. Actual)      (Prov.)     (Est.)
A.Current Account    -1246.5     -1745.8     -1762.2     -1460.4
 - Merchandise:
    export f.o.b.     3590.0      4249.0      4772.6      5561.6
    import f.o.b.    -6139.5     -7951.5     -9117.0     -9524.6
  Trade Balance      -2549.5     -3702.5     -4344.4     -3963.0
 - Services/Income:
    credit*          -1579.9      2544.4      3015.0      3196.5
    debit*            -422.2      -747.4      -709.8      -643.9
 - Official services     0           0            0            0
   & transfer
 - Private services    741.6      1670.3      1835.7      1899.0
   & transfer
 - Interest on        -153.2     -429.1       374.6      -271.9
   Debt Services
 Total: goods,       -1391.8    -1905.5     -2039.2     -1410.4
 services, income
 - Miscellaneous       145.3      159.7       277.0       -50.0
B.Direct Investment    835.9      587.4      1440.7      1745.8
  Direct Investment    835.9      587.4      1440.7      1745.8
  Portfolio Investment   -        -             -            -
Total:Group A plus B  -410.6     -1158.4     -321.5       294.4
C. Other Short Term    -82.4      -23.2       -31.6       -52.7
   IMF (repayment)      79.1      -16.7       -17.1       -16.1
   Short term loan    -161.5       -6.5       -14.5       -36.6
Total:Group A plus C  -493.0    -1181.6      -353.1       241.7
D.Other Capital Sources447.4      968.0       879.6      -100.4
  Grants               434.0      601.3       976.5       831.3
  Loans/Repayments     329.5      343.5       -94.4      -929.2
Subscription to:
 - Int'l Financial    -102.3    0.4          -          - 
 Regional Financial       -         -          -          -
  Miscellaneous       -213.8      22.8        -2.5        -2.5
  Total:Group A to D   -45.6    -213.6       526.5       141.3
E. Net Errors/Omission  N.A.       N.A.        N.A.      N.A.
  Total: Group A to E  -45.6    -213.6       526.5       141.3
F.Reserves              N.A.       N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
  Monetary gold         N.A.       N.A.        N.A.        N.A.     
  SDRs                  N.A.       N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
  Foreign Exchange      N.A.       N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
Source: Review of the Financial, Economic and Social Conditions 1994/95 
(Burmese Edition)

Balance of Payments              (U.S. dollar in millions)
                      1992/93     1993/94     1994/95     1995/96
                      (Prov.)     (Prov.)     (Est.)
A.Current Account     -205.1     -285.8      -301.1      -243.4
 - Merchandise:
    export f.o.b.      590.0      695.6       815.5       926.9
    import f.o.b.    -1010.2     -1301.7     -1557.7     -1587.4
  Trade Balance       -419.5      -606.1      -742.3      -660.5
 - Services/Income:
    credit*            260.0      416.5        515.1       532.8
    debit*             -69.5     -122.4       -121.3      -107.3
 - Official services     0          0            0           0
   & transfer
 - Private services    122.0      273.4        313.7       316.5
   & transfer
 - Interest on         -25.2      -70.2        -64.0       -45.3
   Debt Services
 Total: goods,        -229.0     -311.9      -348.4      -235.1
 services, income
 - Miscellaneous        23.9       26.1        47.3        -8.3
B.Direct Investment    137.5       96.2       246.2       292.5
  Direct Investment    137.5       96.2       246.2       292.5
  Portfolio Investment   -        -             -         -
 Total:Group A plus B  -67.6     -189.6       -54.9        49.1
C.Other Short Term     -13.6       -3.8        -5.4        -8.8
   IMF (repayment)      13.0       -2.7        -2.9        -2.7
   Short term loan     -26.6       -1.1        -2.5        -6.1
 Total:Group A plus C  -81.1     -193.4       -60.3        40.3
D.Other Capital Sources 73.6      158.5       150.3       -16.7
  Grants                71.4       98.4       166.8       138.6
  Loans/Repayments      54.2       56.2       -16.1      -154.9
  Subscription to:
  - Int'l Financial    -16.8        0.1          -          - 
  Regional Financial       -         -          -          -
  Miscellaneous        -35.2        3.7        -0.4        -0.4
 Total:Group A to D     -7.5      -35.0        90.0        23.6
E. Net Errors/Omission   N.A.       N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
 Total: Group A to E    -7.5      -35.0        90.0        23.6
F.Reserves               N.A.    N.A.         N.A.         N.A.
  Monetary gold          N.A.    N.A.         N.A.         N.A.     
  SDRs                   N.A.    N.A.         N.A.         N.A.
  Foreign Exchange       N.A.    N.A.         N.A.         N.A.
Exchange Rate:USD 1 = K. 6.0774 K6.1084 K.5.8572       K. 6.0 
Source: Review of the Financial, Economic and Social Conditions 1994/95 
(Burmese Edition)

Total Investment Approved By the Myanmar Investment Commission

By Country for Existing and Completed Projects
      March 31, 1989 through May 17, 1995 
      (in millions of U.S. Dollars) 

     Country                   No.     Amount Approved 

     United Kingdom            11           634.15 
     France                     1           465.00
     Thailand                  27           418.26
     Singapore                 27           337.16 
     United States             13           226.27
     Japan                      5           101.14
     The Netherlands            2            83.00
     Austria                    1            71.50
     Malaysia                   7            69.57
     Hong Kong                 17            64.44
     South Korea                9            60.59
     Australia                  4            28.20
     Canada                     1            22.00
     Philippines                1             6.67
     China                      4             5.50 
     Bangladesh                 2             2.96
     Macao                      1             2.40
     Sri Lanka                  1             1.00

     TOTAL                    134          2599.81

Total Investment Approved By the Myanmar Investment Commission for By 

March 31, 1989 through May 17, 1995 
 (in millions of U.S. Dollars) 

Sector               Number of Projects        Amount Approved 

Manufacturing               50                     175.30
Hotels and Tourism          30                     570.38
Oil and Gas                 23                    1420.62 
Fisheries                   14                     246.32 
Mining                      13                     182.20 
Transport                    3                       2.30
Agriculture                  1                       2.69 

TOTAL                      134                    2599.81 

Source:  Myanmar Investment Commission

     Annex A 

How to Register as a Company 
Registering as a foreign branch of a company incorporated outside Burma 
and having an established place of business in Burma: 
1.  Applying for the Permit to Trade 
Application should be addressed to: 
The Chairman 
Capital Structure Committee 
c/o The Registrar 
Companies Registration Office 
Directorate of Investment and Company Administration 
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development 
653/691 Merchant Street, Yangon, Myanmar 
Phone: 01-77417, 83583; Telex: 21338 BUR RANGOON. 
Application must be made on Form A (Annex 1), which is issued by the 
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.  A kyat 3.00 
court fee stamp must be affixed to Form A.  The following documents must 
be attached to Form A:

-     A copy of the company's background profile; 
-     Copies of the company's balance sheets for the past two years; 
-     Completed questionnaires (Annex 3 of Form A); 
-     List of intended economic or business activities to be carried out 
in Burma;
-     List of estimated expenditure for the first year of operations; 
-     A certificate from the relevant ministry or ministries authorizing 
operations of public utility services or exploitation, development or 
utilization of any natural resources within Burma. 
Changes can be made to the above within two months from the date the 
application is submitted.  This registration must be renewed annually. 

2.  Capital Remitted to Burma 

The foreign company must bring foreign exchange in the form of "head 
office foreign capital."  The Capital Structure Committee determines the 
required amount depending on the company's economic activities and the 
financial status of the company's head office.  Fifty percent of the 
required amount must be remitted within 30 days of the date of issuance 
of the Permit to Trade.  The remaining 50 percent must generally be 
remitted in 180 days.  If the foreign company can prove, in writing, to 
the satisfaction of the Capital Structure Committee, that the final 
remittance is not yet required for the scope of the company's activities 
in Burma, the company may be allowed to defer the final remittance. 

Registering as a foreign company incorporated in Burma: 
1.  Applying for Registration 
Applications for registration must be obtained from: 
The Registrar 
Companies Registration Office 
Directorate of Investment and Company Administration 
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development 
653/691 Merchant Street, Yangon, Myanmar 
Phone: 01-77417, 83583; Telex: 21338 BUR RANGOON. 
The registration fee is kyat 600.00 to 15,000.00 depending upon the 
authorized capital. The following documents must be attached to the 
registration application, which can be obtained from the Ministry of 
National Planning and Economic Development: 

-     Permit to Trade; 
-     A copy of the company's background profile translated into 
-     Full address of the registered or Principal Office of the company 
in Burma;
-     List of the directors and managers (if any) of the company;
-     Names, addresses and nationalities of one or more persons resident 
in Burma authorized to accept service on behalf of the company. 

Changes can be made to the above within two months from the date the 
application is submitted. 
2.  Remitting Capital to Burma 

The foreign company must bring foreign exchange in the form of "issued 
and paid-up capital."  The government's Capital Structure Committee 
determines the required amount depending on the company's economic 
activities and the financial status of the company's head office.  Fifty 
percent of the required amount must be remitted within 30 days of the 
date of issuance of the Permit to Trade.  The remaining 50 percent must 
generally be remitted in 180 days.  If the foreign company can prove, in 
writing, to the satisfaction of the Capital Structure Committee, that 
the final remittance is not yet required for the scope of the company's 
activities in Burma, the company may be allowed to defer the final 

Annex B  

Travel Agencies (Selected)  

Ancient Beauty Tourism Service Co. Ltd.  
149, Bo Aung Kyaw Street, Kyauktada Township  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-78921; Telex: 21201/21236 BM 1411  
Fax: 95-01-89960(354)  
Contact: Nay Zin Latt  
Free Bird Tours Co., Ltd.  
357 Bo Aung Gyaw Street, Kyauktada P.O.  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-94941/75638; Fax: 95-1-89960-Attn-782  
Telex: 21201/21236 BM 922  
Contact: U Zin Thein  
Golden Express Tours Ltd.  
286 (1st Floor) Pansodan St., Kyauktada P.O.  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-22635; Telex: 21201/21236 BM 1478 G.E.L.  
Fax:  095-01-89960/89961 (350) g.e.l.  
Contact:  Yong Min  
Golden Land Travel Services (Myanmar) Co. Ltd.,  
214(2-A), Bo Aung Gyaw Street,  
Botataung P.O., Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-83827/83898/96074  
Telex: 21532 DANKON BM, 21515 NORKON BM  
Fax: 95-01-83898/61900  
Contact:  U Khin Zaw  

KOMY (Korea-Myanmar) Tour  
1 Wingaba Road, Bahan Township   
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 95-01-53101/53102  
Fax: 95-01-52547; Telex: 21439 KOMYCO  
Ruby Land Tourism Services  
90 Upper Pansodan Street  
Kandawgalay Township  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 95-01-81219; Fax: 95-01-89960 UAK-RUBYLAND-093  
Telex: 21201/21236 BM UAK-RUBYLAND 1321  
Contact: U Aye Kyaw (Managing Director)  
Thuriya Travels and Tours  
192, Room 9, 39th Street  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-72952; Telex: 21201/21236 BM 595 (M.W.T.)  
Contact: Myo Wai Tint  
Taw Win Travel Co. Ltd.
6 45th Street, Botataung P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 951-96080; Telex: 21201/21236 Bm (TW) 2153
Fax: 951-89960/89961 ATTN 1237 
Contact: Rita Myint (Managing Director)

Tour Mandalay Co., Ltd
194/196, 2nd floor
Mahabandoola St. Pazundaung P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 951090589/53287

Annex C  

Private Hotels in Rangoon (Selected)  
Bagan Hotel  
29(A) Po Sein Road, Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel:01- 50489, Fax: 951-39660
Baiyoke Kandawgyi Hotel
Kandawgyi P.O., Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 01-86521/86524;  Fax:951-80412  

Best Inn/Best Executive Suite  
96/98 Pansodan Street, Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-72835/86058  
Telex: 21201 BM (ST 404)  

Hotel December  
89(A) Pyay Road, Dagon P.O., Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-21943; Telex: UTL(533) BM 21201/21236  
Fax: 95-1-89960 (ATTN: 307 U THET LWIN)  

Mya Yeik Nyo Hotels  
23/25 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan P.O.  
Yangon, Myanmar  
Tel: 01-53818/53819; Fax: 951-38318  

The Nawarat Hotel
257 Insein Road, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:01-67888; Telex: 21201 BM (666); Fax:951-67777

Summit Parkview Hotel
350 Ahlone Road, Dagon P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel: 27966; Fax: 951-27992)

Annex D

The American Embassy in Rangoon assumes no responsibility for the 
professional ability or integrity of the persons and companies whose 
names appear in the following lists.  Their names are arranged 
alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other 

Legal Services 

Dr BA TIN, Barrister-at-Law 
55 Maha Bandoola Garden Street,(1st floor) 
Yangon (Tel:951-76318, Res:951-78258) 

52 Maha Bandoola Garden Street,(1st floor) 
Yangon (Tel:951-77930, Res:951-60338) 

73 Pansodan Street 
Yangon (Tel:951-76780, Res:951-73197) 
18 Mahabawdi Street 
Kyaukkone, Yankin P.O. 
Yangon (Tel:951-57027) 

DAW MYA MYA AYE, B.A. Barrister-at-Law
46, Saya San Road, Bahan P.O.
Yangon (Tel: 951-50956; Fax: 951-53345)

Maw Htoon & Partners
49/51 Thirty First Street
Yangon (Tel: 951-71919/76595/36869;Fax: 951-34586)

Patents and Trademark Attorneys 

53/55 Maha Bandoola Garden Street, Yangon 
Tel:951-76031; Telex: 21210 BM (UKW/209) 
Rm. 29, 53/55 Maha Bandoola Garden Street, Yangon 
3, 34th Street, Yangon 

Financial/Business Consultant 

U HLA TUN (Registered Accountant) 
53/55 Maha Bandoola Garden Street 
Tel: 01-71495 
Telex: 21210 BM (UHT/312) 
Chamber of Commerce and Trade Associations (Selected) 

The Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) 
Ruby House, 74/86 Bo Sun Pat Street 
Pabedan Township (P.O. Box 1557), Yangon 
Tel: 01-70749; 01-82208; Telex: 21201 UMCCI (517); 89960 UMCCI 1289 
Contact: U Myo Nyunt, Honorary Joint Secretary 

Myanmar Rice Millers Association 
69 Theinbyu Street, Botataung Township 
Yangon (Tel:951-84478; 951-80537) 
Contact: U Win Myint, General Secretary 
Aquatic Trade Technicians Association 
144 Seikkantha Street (1st fl.), Kyauktada Township
P.O. Box 262, Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel: 74500; Telex: 21201/21236 BM - 467
Contact: Chairman 
Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association 
17/19 Boywe Street, Pabedan Township 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel: 92817/72776) 
Contact: Chairman 
Myanmar Industries Association
74/86 Bo Sun Pat Street, Pabedan P.O.
Yangon (Tel: 951-77103)
Contact; U Htein Win, Chairman

Shipping Lines (Selected) 

Ben Phee Cheng Koon
Managing Director
PHEE International Shipping (Myanmar) Ltd.
Phee Int'l Shipping and Forwarding Pte. Ltd.
198 A, Bo Myat Tun Street
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel: 951-91996/97593; Fax: 951-97593)

Head Office:      50 Telok Blangah Rd
          #01-04/05 Citiport Centre,
          Singapore 0409     (Tel: 2706200; Fax: 2709706)
(Agent for American President Line; Jardine Starline Management Pte., 

DZ Container Lines
76, 2nd floor, Bo aung Gyaw Street
Botahtaung P.O., Yangon (Tel: 951-96102)

Lian Huat Shipping Co., (Pte) Ltd.
801, Maha Bandoola Rd.(Corner of 12th Street)
Lanmadaw P.O., Yangon (Tel: 951-24730)

The American Embassy in Rangoon assumes no responsibility for the 
professional ability or integrity of the persons whose names appear in 
the following lists.  Their companies' names are arranged 
alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other 

Shipping and Forwarding Agencies (Selected) 

Michael Win Lwin 
Managing Director 
Golden Moon-Face Moving & International Ltd. 
Yangon Vanpac Enterprise 
78 Wadan Street (P.O. Box 595) 
Yangon 11131, Myanmar 
Tel: 951-22622/01-83827; Telex: 21201/21236 BM MWL (767)  

U Tint Zaw
Managing Director 
Express Movers Co., Ltd. (EMCO) 
58 Maha Bandoola Garden Street 
Room 1-2 First Floor (G.P.O. Box 69) 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-76319; Telex: 21201/21236 CODE 242 

U Aung Kyaw Min (a) Freddie 
Managing Director 
Myanma International Moving Services (MIMS) 
14 A-1 Lane, 9th Mile 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:941-67057/65788; Telex: 21201 BM (AKM/114); Fax:951-89604 
U Kyaw Myint 
Managing Director 
TST TransPack Network 
63/65 14th Street, Lanmadaw Township 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Telephone:951-76627/64841; Telex: 21201 BM 1413; Fax:951-65251 
The American Embassy in Rangoon assumes no responsibility for the 
rofessional ability or integrity of the persons whose names appear in 
the following lists.  Their companies' names are arranged 
alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other 

Courier Services

U Ohn Myint (Authorized Representative)
No, 146 (L-2) Khay Mar Thiri Street
9 Mile, Mayangone P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:  951-67110; Fax:  951-65513; Tlx:  21354 WWF YGN BM

Federal Express 
Indo-China Express
U Soe Win (Operation Manager)
No. 130, 1st floor, 31st Street, G.P.O. Box. 103
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:  951-83346 (Off)/951-24847 (Res); Fax:  951-80303

U Win Sein (Manager)
524 B, Merchant Street
Tel: 75398/71385


U Pe Maung Zin, General Manager
Associated Business-consultancy Services Ltd. (ABCS)
Nawarat Arcade, Nawarat Hotel
257 Insein Road, Hlaing P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:951-40715; Fax: 951-67811 
Capt. Maung Aye, Managing Director
Aye International Trading 
300 Shwebontha Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-73622; Fax:951-89568 
U Win Thein
Cho Cho Trading
118 C, Oasis Lane, 8 Mile Pyay Road
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 951-61725/53271/39379; Tlx: 21408 Cho Cho BM

U Kyaw Maung, General Manager 
Golden Global Group Ltd. 
68 (2nd Floor), 30th Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-74355; Telex: 21201 TELBOX BM (ATTN:UMH 481) 

U Thein Tun, General Manager 
Golden Star Enterprises 
Bldg. 7/8,Bahosi Yeiktha, Bogyoke Aung San Street 
Lanmadaw, Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-33946/31991; Telex:RANKOK 21345 BM 

U Hla Win, Managing Director 
Win Yadana Enterprise Ltd. 
16 Natmauk Road, Tamwe Township
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-53578/53600/90032; 
Fax: 951-39885/91065; Telex: 21226 TELBOX 1256 MMT)

U Hla Myint Thein 
International Trading Enterprise 
261 1st floor, 39th Street, Kyauktada P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-81791; Telex: 21201 TELBOX BM 024 
U Nyunt Maung, Managing Director 
K.T.G. Trading 
157B 47th Street, Botataung P.O. 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-95764/33374; Telex: 21201/21236 BM 417 
U Minn Din, Managing Director 
Minntech Consultancy Services 
5 Wingaba Road, Bahan P.O.
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-50941; Telex: 21327 ATNEWS BM/21247 DEUTAG BM 
U Aye Cho, Managing Director 
Mitsugi Co. 
#15 104/112 Anawrahta Street (corner of 38th Street) 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-80296) 

U Moe Kyaw (a) Peter, Managing Director 
Myanmar Marketing 
27/10 U Wisara Housing Estate, Dagon Township 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-86379/73254) 

Michael Moe Myint 
Myint & Associates Co. Ltd. 
Suite 33 Blgd. 2, Mayangone Junction 
8 1/2 Mile Pyay Road, Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-64302/64303/64304, Telex:21429 MYINT BM; FAX:951-64882 

U Htein Win, Managing Director
Myitmakha Engineering Co.; Ltd. 
112/114 33rd Street, Kyauktada P.O. 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-86903/37483; 951-40735 
U Soe Win, Managing Director 
Popa Minerals Prospecting Group 
Myaing Haywun Housing Estate 
Bldg.# 2 Rm.#15-18 8-1/2 mile Junction 
Mayangone P.O., Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-60776/60791; Fax: 951-89960/89961 (981) 

U Khin Maung Ohn, Managing Director 
Uni-Myanmar General Enterprise Ltd. 
114 A Kayebin Road 
Yangon 11191, Myanmar 
Tel:951-21264; Telex: 21201 BM KMO 081 
Mr. G.S. Sharma, Managing Director 
Yamona International Co., Ltd. 
17/21 35th Street (P.O. Box 149) 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-75620; Telex:21201/21236 (GS 576); Fax:951-82980 

U Than Tun Aung
Yadanabon Enterprise Group 
Exporter, Importer & Business Consultant 
810 Maha Bandoola Street, Lanmadaw 11132 
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:951-73776/73492;Telex:21201/21236 (929); Fax:951-89960 (308) 

(1)  "U" stands for Mr.; "Daw" stands for Ms. 
(2)  List of local contacts for a specific sector can be provided upon 


Director General 
Agricultural Planning Department 
Ministry of Agriculture 
Thiri Mingala Lane, Off Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar  (Tel:951-64429, Fax: 951-63984) 
Managing Director  
Myanma Agriculture Service 
Kanbe, Irrigation Compound, Yankin 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-65743/67039; Fax: 951-63984; Telex: 21311 AGRICO-BM 
Managing Director
Cooperative Export Import Enterprise
259/263 Bagyoke Aung San Street
Kyautada P.O., Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-83540/83599; Telex: 21201 BM BURCOOP 
Managing Director 
Myanma Electric Power Enterprise 
197/199 Lower Kemmendine Rd., Ahlone P.O. 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-22866/20918; Fax: 951-22964/22965; Telex: EPCUB 21306 BM 
Managing Director 
Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise 
23 Minye Kyawswa Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-22813; Fax: 951-22964/22965; Telex: 21329 PECHEM BM  

Director General 
Energy Planning Department 
74/80 Minye Kyawswa Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-22535; Cable:NANITHA 
Telex: 21307 MYCORP BM ATTN EPD; Fax: 951-22964/22965 
Managing Director 
Myanma Petroleum Products Enterprise 
74/80 Minye Kyawswa Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-21093; Fax:951-22964/22965; Telex:21307 MYCORP BM ATTN PPSC 

Managing Director 
Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise 
74/80 Minye Kyawswa Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-22874/21049; Cable: YENAN 
Telex: 21307 MYCORP-BM; Fax: 951-22964/22965 
The Minister 
Ministry of Forestry 
Thiri Mingala Lane, Off Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-63737, Fax: 951-64493) 
Director General 
Forest Department 
BPI Lane, Forest Compound, West Gyogon, Insein 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-81367/71624; Cable: CHIEFOR 
Director General 
Myanma Timber Enterprise 
Ahlone P.O. 206 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-22823/20637, Cable: TIMPRO; Telex: 21312 TIMCOR-BM 

Director General 
Department of Health, Ministry of Health 
36 Theinbyu Street 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-92900) 
Director General 
Industrial Planning Department 
Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-56316/56077; Cable: IMPDAMENT 
Telex: 21500 SAMATA BM/21523 SAMATA BM 

Managing Director
Myanma Foodstuff Industries 
192 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-56533; Cable: SETMUSAKON 
Telex: 21500 SAMATA BM/21513 SAMATA BM 

Managing Director 
Myanma Textile Industries 
192 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-56333/56336; Cable: TEXMIPRO 
Telex: 21500 SAMATA BM/21513 SAMATA BM 
Managing Director 
Myanma Pharmaceutical Industries 
192 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-56740; Telex: 21500 SAMATA BM/21513 SAMATA BM 

Director General 
Fisheries Department
Corner of 33rd Street and Strand Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-83855/78022; Cable: WHALES, Telex: 21310 PEARL-BM 

Managing Director 
No. (2) Mining Enterprise 
Kanbe Road, Yankin  
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-51421/50166; Cable: TINCORP, Telex: 21205 MCTWO-BM 
Director General 
Geological Survey & Exploration Department 
Kanbe Road, Yankin 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-51494; Cable: DIRGEO) 

Managing Director 
Myanma Gems Enterprise 
66 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, P.O. Box 1397 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-60905/61901; Telex: 21506 GEMSCOR-BM 
Director General 
Myanma Hotels and Tourism Services 
77/91 Sule Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-86024; Telex: 21330 HOTOCO BM, Fax:951-82535 
Director General 
Directorate of Trade 
228/240 Strand Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Cable: COMMERCE; Telex: 21338 TRAPRO-BM    

International Trade Promotion Service 
Directorate of Trade 
228/240 Strand Road 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel: 01-83514, 01-83517, 01-83519, 01-84299 
Telex: 21338 TRAPRO-BM 
Managing Director 
Myanma Agriculture Produce Trading 
70 Pansodan Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-81048/84044/71505/71350; Cable: AGRITRADE 
Telex: 21305 UBMEIC-BM (ATTN: AFPTC) 
Managing Director 
Medicine & Medical Equipment Trading 
189/191 Maha Bandoola Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-83227/81466/70551; Cable: MEDITRADE 
Managing Director 
Myanma Export Import Services  
577/622 Merchant Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Telex: 21305/21328 UBMEIC-BM 
Yangon City Development Committee 
Yangon City Hall, Sule Pagoda Road 
Yangon, Myanmar (Tel:951-83988)
Managing Director 
Myanma Post & Telecommunications 
43 Bo Aung Kyaw Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-81566/85499; Cable: POSTAL RANGOON 
Telex: 21222 MANTEL-BM; Fax: 951-89911 

The Minister 
Ministry of Finance and Revenue 
The Ministers' Office, Theinphyu Street 
Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-84763; Telex: 21233 FERD BM 
Director General 
Customs Department 
132 Strand Road, Yangon, Myanmar 
The Minister 
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development 
663/691 Merchant Street, Yangon,Myanmar 
Tel:951-80816, Fax:951-80950  
Foreign Investment Commission 
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development 
663/691 Merchant Street 
Tel:951-72009, Fax:951-82101
Managing Director 
Myanma Airways 
104 Strand Road, Yangon, Myanmar 
Tel:951-82678, Telex: 21204 RGNBAC BM, Fax:951-30613 
Managing Director
Myanma Ports Authority
10 Pansodan Street
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel:951-81838/83122, Telex: 21208 BM; Fax:951-30613

Director General
Office of the Work Committee for the 
Development of Border Areas & National Races
Ministers' Office, Theinbyu Street
Yangon, Myanmar, Telephone:951-85936 

List of Trade Related Publications 

    Name of Publications                             Price in kyat 

1.  The Burma Companies Act, 1 Apr., 1914                40.00 
2.  The Partnership Act, 1 Oct., 1932                     5.00 
3.  The Partnership Rules (Revenue Department), 08/14/88  3.00 
4.  The Burma Companies Rules, 1940                      35.00 
5.  Special Company Act, 10 Nov., 1950                    1.00 
6.  The Burma Companies Regulations, 1957                 3.00 
7.  The Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Law,         40.00
    Procedures and Types of Economic Activities 
    Allowed for Foreign Investment, Nov. 1993
8.  Law Amending the Burma Companies Act,     * 
    SLORC Law No.2/89, 21 Jan.1989 
9.  Law Amending the Income Tax Rules (computation and       * 
    assessment of capital gains), SLORC Rules No. 1/89, 
    22 Mar.1989 
10. Law Amending the Income Tax Law, SLORC Law No. 6/89,     * 
    22 Mar.1989 
11. Law Amending the Profit Tax Law (minor changes), SLORC   * 
    Law No.7/89, Mar.1989 
12. Law Amending the State Budget Law (includes income tax   * 
    rates and provisions), SLORC Law No. 8/89, 03/22/88 
13. The State-owned Economic Enterprises Law, SLORC Law   5.00 
    No. 9/89, 31 Mar.1989 
14. Doing Business in Burma, April 1989 and June 1990     10.00 
15. Types of Economic Activities Allowed for Foreign       5.00 
    Investment (30 May, 1989) 
16. An Outline of Taxes Administered by the International   **  
    Revenue Department, July 1989, Jan. 1990, Jan. 1991 
17. Guide to Foreign Investment in Myanmar,               25.00     
    Part I - 1989 and Part II - 1990 
18. Prospective Importers of Myanmar Export Products      40.00 
19. Myanmar Trade Directory 1994-95                      250.00

*   Newspaper cuttings (available at Commercial Section, American 

20.  The Financial Institutions of Myanmar Law, 07/4/90    3.50 
21.  Rules relating to the Financial Institutions          3.50 
     of Myanmar Law - July 4, 1990 
22.  The Central Bank of Myanmar Law - July 2, 1990        9.00 
23.  The Central Bank of Myanmar Rules - April 9, 1991     5.00 
24.  The Myanmar Agricultural & Rural Development          4.00 
     Bank Rules - April 9, 1990 
25.  The Myanmar Agricultural & Rural Development          4.00 
     Bank Law - July 9, 1990 
26.  Income Tax Law, Rules and Regulation with Extract      **
     from the State Budget Law, 1989
     (as amended up to 08/1/90) 
27.  The Myanmar Tourism Law                              10.00 
28.  Procedures Relating to the Myanmar Tourism Law       25.00 
     December 31, 1991 
29.  Statistical Yearbook 1993- Central Research         100.00

30.  Review of the Financial Economic and Social Conditions     
     1994-1995                                           110.00
31.  Yangon Directory 94-95                              130.00     
32.  Myanmar Citizens Investment Law                      50.00
33.  Myanmar Export/Import Rules and Regulations for     200.00
     Private Business Entrprenuers, July 1994     
34.  Myanmar Yellow Pages, 1995                          300.00
35.  Myanmar Marine Fisheries Law 1990                      **
     Ministry of Livestock Breeding & fisheries
36.  Freshwater Fisheries Law, March 1991                   **      
37.  Law Relating to the Fishing Rights of                  **
     Foreign fishing Vessels
38.  Private Industrial Enterprise Law, Nov 1990            **
39.  Investment in Myanmar 1994                        US$ 8.00
     The Union of Myanmar Investment Commission 

**  Not for sale. 

Note:  The above publications can be bought at: 

Sapay Beikhman                      Government Book Store 
529/531 Merchant Street             Bogyoke Aung San Market 
Yangon, Myanmar                     Yangon, Myanmar 

Inwa Book Store     232 Sule Pagoda Road
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 71078