kyat (K) (MMK)
Facts about Myanmar
Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by the People's Republic of China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, with the Andaman Sea defining its southern periphery. One-third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline. At 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), Burma is the 40th largest country in the world, the second largest country in Southeast Asia, and 24th most populous country with over 58.8 million people.
Burma is home to some of the major civilizations of Southeast Asia including Pyu and Mon. In 9th century, the Burmans of the Nanzhao Kingdom, entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and established the Pagan Empire in 1057. The Burmese language and culture slowly came to intertwine with Pyu and Mon norms. During this period, Pagan Kings adopted Buddhism as the predominant religion of the country. After Pagan's fall in 1287, several warring states emerged. In the second half of the 16th century, the Toungoo Dynasty reunified the country, and founded the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia for a brief period. In the 18th century, the Konbaung Dynasty restored the kingdom, and went to war with all its neighbors. The kingdom fought three wars with the British and was eventually annexed into British Raj.
The British rule brought several enduring social, economic, cultural and administrative changes that completely transformed the once-feudal society. Since independence in 1948, the country has been in one of the longest running civil wars among the country's myriad ethnic groups that remains unresolved. From 1962 to 2011, the country was under military rule and in the process has become one of the least developed nations in the world. The military junta finally dissolved in 2011 following a general election in 2010 and the subsequent inauguration of Burma's civilian government.
Burma is a resource rich country. However, since the reformations of 1962, the Burmese economy has become one of the least developed in the world. Burma’s GDP stands at $42.953 billion and grows at an average rate of 2.9% annually – the lowest rate of economic growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Among others, the EU, United States and Canada, have imposed economic sanctions on Burma. Burma's health care system is one of the worst in the world: World Health Organization ranked Burma at 190th, the worst performing of all countries.
The United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country, including child labour, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech.