Myanmar’s Industrial Development

Updated On: Jan 05, 2009

The private sector is made up of many small scale industries, but constitutes the largest number of the factories and plants as well as the largest volume of output of the items. The private-run factories and mills make up more than 90 per cent in the nation, therefore the Myanmar government is upgrading small and medium private industries with extended application of modern technologies and helping them to manufacture quality items through the Industrial Development Committee (IDC) with the goal of changing the production of power-tillers, small farm-used vehicles, motorcycles, buses and trucks into a firm import-substitute industry.  

The Ministry of Cooperatives is to take measures for improvement of small industries based on the private industrial zones and give encouragement to all the industrial zones depending on the financial power and standard for ensuring simultaneous development of the zones.  Modern foundry plants, forging shops, and forging machines were constructed in Mandalay, Monywa and Taunggyi Ayethaya industrial zones with the assistance of the government and a private mould & die workshop is being built in connection with production processes of the factories.

The workforce in Myanmar has reached 34.7 million which acounts for over 60 percent of the present total population of over 56 million, this expansion of the workforce was attributed to the extensive setting up of industrial zones and state-owned factories, creating more job opportunities between 1997 to 2007 and there are now 792 state-owned factories in Myanmar and about 80,000 factories in 18 local industrial zones with about 4.8 million in industry.  

Myanmar is planning to develop the country's central part through extensively setting up more industrial zones in cities along the Ayeyawaddy River, according to an earlier report of the Yangon Times which said on establishment of these zones, the application of the Ayeyawaddy River by vessels will become more and cities along the river could be developed as port cities and Myanmar has also designated a 210,060-square-meter land plot in Nay Pyi Taw to make way for establishing similar industrial zone.  

Myanmar will enacted a special economic zone (SEZ) law in 2007, aiming to absorb inflow of more foreign investment into the country to promote its economic development with the aim of creating 200,000 job opportunities will be created through establishment of three other Thai-proposed special industrial zones, located in Myawaddy and Hpa-an in southeastern Kayin state and Mawlamyine in southern Mon state is also underway.  The project, which constitutes part of the Ayeyawaddy-Chao Phraya- Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) agreed by the four countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in November 2003, the three Thai-proposed industrial zone projects started in late 2007.  

According to official statistics, Myanmar's industrial sector contributed 17.5 percent to the gross domestic product of the nation in the fiscal year 2005-06 which ended in March and a 19- percent contribution is targeted for 2006-07; private sector's contribution to the industrial sector stands 92.36 percent, statistics also show; other official statistics indicate that contracted foreign investment in Myanmar has reached 13.917 billion U.S. dollars in 402 projects up to now since the country opened to such investment in late 1988.


Aung, Zaw, "Financing Small and Medium Enterprises in Myanmar" dated 30 December 2008 (entry) [downloaded on 1 Jan 2009], available athttp://www.burmalibrary.org/new.php.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Myanmar, "Industrial Development Committee holds Meeting No 1/2005" dated 1 Feb 2005 [downloaded on 1 Jan 2009], available athttp://www.mofa.gov.mm/news/feb1_tue05_1.html.

Xinhua, "Development doubles Myanmar's working force in nearly two decades" dated 13 Feb 2007 in the People's Daily website [downloaded on 1 Jan 2009], available at http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200702/13/eng20070213_349695.html

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