Myanmar is the largest country by geographical area in “mainland” Southeast Asia and one of the poorest countries in Asia. Myanmar is bordered in north and northeast by China, in east by Laos and Thailand, in south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and in west by Bangladesh and India. Myanmar has a population of 53.4 million people (2014). The country’s economy has grown 6 to 7 per cent in recent years and the growth is expected to continue.
Myanmar belongs to the ASEAN Economic Community, which emphasizes regional cooperation in the “three pillars”, which are security, sociocultural integration, and economic integration. The aim is to create a common market, which resembles the European Economic Community.
Myanmar has substantial oil, natural gas, mineral and gemstone reserves. In addition, more and more tourists are interested in the country, its culture and attractions. A large number of people are employed by the agricultural and service sectors.
Myanmar needs modern technology and investments to increase production volumes and improve the quality of products. The EU has agreed to help Myanmar in agriculture (including mango, tea, and coffee production and poultry), develop fisheries and increase food safety. Modern technology and investments are needed for example in the cultivation of rice.
A great number of construction projects are being opened for companies when new roads and ports will be built. Myanmar also wants to develop its mining and tourist sectors.
Development cooperation between Finland and Myanmar is based on the 2015–2024 country strategy for development cooperation, which singles out three spheres of cooperation: education, sustainable management of natural resources, and promoting democratic governance and the rule of law.
H.E. Yin Yin Myint, Myanmar’s Ambassador to Finland, and councellor Saw Yu Nwe visited the Finland Chamber of Commerce on 20th January 2016.
Finland-ASEAN Trade Association promotes trade between Finland and the ASEAN countries. H.E. promised to address the meeting of the trade association during her next visit to Finland. The Embassy of Myanmar which covers Finland is situated in Berlin.
The article is written by Anne Hatanpää, Finland Chamber of Commerce