formerly known as “Burma”, is the second largest landmass country in Southeast Asia with a total land area of 676,579 square kilometers ranging from tropical deltas in the south to Himalayan foothills in the north. It shares borders with China to the north and northeast, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand to the east and southeast, and Bangladesh and India to the west and northwest. Myanmar has over 2,800-kilometer coastline providing access to sea routes and ports. The country is rich in natural resources including forests, minerals, natural gas, arable land, and freshwater and marine resources.
After being under military rule for fifty years, in May 2008 Myanmar transitioned to civilian rule under a new Constitution. This transition to civilian rule is the first step to on-going political and economic reforms.
Myanmar has an estimated population of 59.1 million and is one of the world’s most diverse countries with a profound history and a wealth of cultural and religious traditions. There are over 135 diverse ethnic groups with over 100 languages and dialects spoken.