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Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (formerly Burma), sandwiched between Bangladesh and Thailand and bordered by China, India, and Laos, is cited by key international organizations as one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. Following a constitutional referendum and parliamentary elections, Myanmar emerged in 2011 from decades of military rule and pervasive economic isolation, eagerly seeking foreign investors. The country possesses rich natural resources that include petroleum, timber, tin, zinc, copper, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, and water resources for hydropower.

However, the fruit of any economic growth has since remained the purview of a small class of elites in this nascent democracy of some 55 million people. Few economic benefits have trickled down to the majority of citizens, and disparities remain between urban and rural dwellers ...

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