Chief Natural resources of Myanmar
Since ancient times, the land known today as Myanmar has been famous for its wealth in natural resources of all kinds. Today, Myanmar’s natural resources include oil and gas, various minerals, precious stones and gems, timber and forest products, hydropower potential, etc. Of these, natural gas, rubies, jade, and timber logs are the most valuable and currently provide a substantial proportion of national income. To date, there has been a very low-level of systematic exploration of Myanmar’s natural resources due to lack of modern survey techniques. I
According to official data, recent foreign direct investment in Myanmar has been concentrated in the oil/gas and hydro power sectors, with mining coming in third position by value. Investment commitments made in the 2010/11 financial year were approximately 30 times the rate of commitments made on average for the previous 22 years.
NEIGHBORING COUNTRY MYANMAR
The main investors by country were Myanmar’s neighbors China (including Hong Kong) and Thailand, followed by South Korea, Singapore, and others. While the vast majority of people in the national workforce are subsistence farmers, the gas industry and the precious/semi-precious stone-mining industries have provided the largest incomes, with gas earning of $3.6 billion for 2011–2012 and precious stones earning of approximately $3.4 billion in 2010 from auction sales.
Despite a shortage of natural gas for the domestic market, most of the natural gas is exported. Currently all gas exports go to Thailand. Yet, a new 1,800-kilometer-long pipeline – which will cross the whole country, from Kyauk Phyu in Rakhine state to Kunming, China – will commence later in 2013
DESCRIPTION / ECONOMICAL CONDITION MYANMAR
Myanmar is geologically very rich, and mining is significant as a large-scale industry and also in small-scale artisanal forms. Mineral occurrences cover all sectors, including base metals (gold, copper, silver, lead, zinc, tin, antimony, iron, etc.), industrial minerals, energy sources (mainly coal), gems (jade, rubies, sapphires, etc.), as well as “rare earth” minerals. Myanmar is perhaps best known for gold, jade, rubies, sapphires. It is estimated that in the past, 90 percent of the world’s rubies came from Myanmar. The state is currently aiming to control and manage all aspects of production and sale of jade and gems, but in this sector, as well as in the gold sector, large informal and illegal industries exist.
Despite being blessed with an abundance of natural resources, Myanmar’s citizens are among the poorest in Asia and lag behind their ASEAN neighbors in all aspects of human development. Myanmar’s natural resources were managed in unsustainable and transparent ways during decades of military rule and economic mismanagement. Lack of transparency in the past has raised many questions about potential misappropriation. Revenues were used for state needs, among them being military expenses to ensure the military’s control. While natural resources were being sold to neighboring countries, the local population was left empty-handed.
MAJOR PRODUCTION MYANMAR
Opium production in Myanmar has historically been a major contributor to the county’s gross domestic product (GDP). Burma is the world’s second largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, producing some 25% of the world’s opium, and forms part of the Golden Triangle. The opium industry was a monopoly during colonial times and has since been illegally operated by corrupt officials in the Burmese military and rebel fighters, primarily as the basis for heroin manufacture.
Production is mainly concentrated in the Shan -,Kachin states. Due to poverty, opium production is attractive to impoverished farmers as the financial return from poppy is 17 times more than that of rice. The yield during 2012 was 690 tons, valued at US $359 million.
Economic specialists indicate that recent trends in growth have the potential to increase the gap between the rich and the poor in the country, empowering criminal rackets at the expense of democracy