Burma - Country Commercial Guide
(Myanmar) Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2021-09-27

A resource-rich country, Burma is a frontier market, strategically located in the Southeast Asia region between India and China, with ports in the Indian Ocean, the Bangladesh Ocean, and the Andaman Sea.  Burma boasted the highest GDP growth rate in Asia after its open-market policies were adopted.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the February 1, 2021 coup, economic growth in Burma was projected to be 6.3 percent in 2020 and 6.4 percent in 2021. According to recent reports, however, Burma’s post-coup economy is expected to contract by 18% in 2021.

Myanmar or Burma – Which Name to Use?

Either name can be used to refer to the country, as the constitution does not mandate either name.  However, the governmental authorities only use Myanmar; that name is featured on all official government letters and documents. 

U.S. – Burma Trade

U.S – Burma trade has increased dramatically since 2012.  In 2020, Burma stood as the 84th largest trading partner with the United States, while the U.S. is the tenth-largest source of imports for Burma.   The United States goods trade surplus, from as recently as 2015, has now turned into a sequence of deficits in recent years, at $234 million in 2018, $474 million in 2019, and $689 million in 2020.

On March 29, following the February 2021 coup, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the suspension of all U.S. diplomatic engagement, meetings, and cooperation with Burma under the U.S.-Burma Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  The suspension will remain in effect until the return of a democratically elected government in Burma. 

2020: U.S. trade in goods with Burma

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.  Details may not equal totals due to rounding.  Table reflects only those months for which there was trade.

Month

Exports

Imports

Balance

January 2020

40.5

98.7

-58.2

February 2020

36.0

87.8

-51.8

March 2020

32.5

83.0

-50.5

April 2020

38.3

85.9

-47.6

May 2020

24.5

76.2

-51.7

June 2020

20.6

54.8

-34.2

July 2020

19.6

81.1

-61.4

August 2020

21.5

98.8

-77.3

September 2020

25.8

111.5

-85.7

October 2020

28.5

110.2

-81.7

November 2020

23.0

80.7

-57.7

December 2020

28.0

58.5

-30.5

TOTAL 2020

338.9

1,027.2

-688.3

 

2021(as of April): U.S. trade in goods with Burma

Month

Exports

Imports

Balance

January 2021

46.5

92.1

-45.6

February 2021

14.5

77.4

-62.9

March 2021

14.4

106.7

-92.4

April 2021

11.8

68.1

-56.3

TOTAL 2021

87.2

344.3

-257.1

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.