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India vs. Burma

Economy

IndiaBurma
Economy - overviewIndia's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly less than half of the work force is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output but employing less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers.

India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization measures, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and served to accelerate the country's growth, which averaged nearly 7% per year from 1997 to 2016. India's economic growth slowed in 2011 because of a decline in investment caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about slow world growth. Rising macroeconomic imbalances in India and improving economic conditions in Western countries led investors to shift capital away from India, prompting a sharp depreciation of the rupee.

Growth rebounded in 2014 through 2016, exceeding 7% each year. Investors’ perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilization of the rupee. Since the election, the government has passed an important goods and services tax bill and raised foreign direct investment caps in some sectors but most economic reforms have focused on administrative and governance changes largely because the ruling party remains a minority in India’s upper house of Parliament, which must approve most bills. Despite a high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, in 2015 and 2016, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt, resulting in low credit growth and restrained economic growth.

The outlook for India's long-term growth is moderately positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy. However, long-term challenges remain significant, including: India's discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.
Since the transition to a civilian government in 2011, Burma has begun an economic overhaul aimed at attracting foreign investment and reintegrating into the global economy. Economic reforms have included establishing a managed float of the Burmese kyat in 2012, granting the Central Bank operational independence in July 2013, enacting a new Anti-corruption Law in September 2013, and granting licenses to nine foreign banks in 2014 and four more foreign banks in 2016. State Counselor AUNG SAN SUU KYI and the ruling National League for Democracy, who took power in March 2016, are seeking to improve Burma’s investment climate, following the US sanctions lift in October 2016 and reinstatement of Generalized System of Preferences trade benefits in November 2016. In October 2016, Burma passed a revised updated Foreign Investment Law that consolidates investment regulations and eases the investment approval process. Parliament is also expected to pass amendments to the Companies Law and Gemstone Law later this year.

The government reforms since 2011 and the subsequent easing of most Western sanctions led to accelerated growth, from under 6% in 2011 to roughly 8% in 2013 through 2016. While the economy is expected to grow by 6.5% this year, the World Bank and IMF predict that growth will return to over 7 % per year during the next three years. In 2015, growth slowed slightly because of political uncertainty in an election year, summer floods, and external factors, including China’s slowdown and lower commodity prices. Burma’s abundant natural resources and young labor force are attracting foreign investment in the energy, garment, information technology, and food and beverage sectors.

Despite these improvements, living standards have not improved for the majority of the people residing in rural areas. Burma remains one of the poorest countries in Asia – approximately 26% of the country’s 51 million people live in poverty. The isolationist policies and economic mismanagement of previous governments have left Burma with poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, underdeveloped human resources, and inadequate access to capital, which will require a major commitment to reverse. The Burmese government has been slow to address impediments to economic development such as insecure land rights, a restrictive trade licensing system, an opaque revenue collection system, and an antiquated banking system. AUNG SAN SUU KYI’s government is focusing on accelerating agricultural productivity and land reforms, modernizing and opening the financial sector, and developing transportation and electricity infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$8.721 trillion (2016 est.)
$8.103 trillion (2015 est.)
$7.534 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$307.3 billion (2016 est.)
$288.6 billion (2015 est.)
$268.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate7.6% (2016 est.)
7.6% (2015 est.)
7.2% (2014 est.)
6.5% (2016 est.)
7.3% (2015 est.)
8.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,700 (2016 est.)
$6,300 (2015 est.)
$5,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$6,000 (2016 est.)
$5,600 (2015 est.)
$5,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 16.5%
industry: 29.8%
services: 45.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 26.3%
industry: 27.5%
services: 46.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line21.9% (2011 est.)
25.6% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 29.8% (2011)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.2% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2015 est.)
8.9% (2016 est.)
10.8% (2015 est.)
Labor force513.7 million (2016 est.)
37.15 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 47%
industry: 22%
services: 31% (FY 2014 est.)
agriculture: 70%
industry: 7%
services: 23% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate5% (FY 2016 est.)
4.9% (FY 2014 est.)
4.8% (2016 est.)
5% (2015 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $273.3 billion
expenditures: $273.3 billion (FY 2016 est.)
revenues: $8.944 billion
expenditures: $10.99 billion (2016 est.)
Industriestextiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals
agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; oil and natural gas; garments; jade and gems
Industrial production growth rate7.4% (2016 est.)
12.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, lentils, onions, potatoes; dairy products, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts; sugarcane; fish and fish products; hardwood
Exports$262.3 billion (FY 2016 est.)
$267.9 billion (2015 est.)
$10.49 billion (2016 est.)
$9.135 billion (2015 est.)
note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled to Thailand, China, and Bangladesh
Exports - commoditiespetroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel
natural gas; wood products; pulses and beans; fish; rice; clothing; minerals, including jade and gems
Exports - partnersUS 15.2%, UAE 11.4%, Hong Kong 4.6% (1 January - 30 September 2016)
China 37.8%, Thailand 25.7%, India 7.4%, Japan 6.2% (2015)
Imports$381 billion (FY2016 est.)
$394.1 billion (2015 est.)
$13.96 billion (2016 est.)
$12.49 billion (2015 est.)
note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India
Imports - commoditiescrude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel
fabric; petroleum products; fertilizer; plastics; machinery; transport equipment; cement, construction materials; food products? edible oil
Imports - partnersChina 15.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Switzerland 5.4%, US 5.3%, UAE 5.2% (1 January - 30 September 2016)
China 42.1%, Thailand 18.4%, Singapore 11%, Japan 4.8% (2015)
Debt - external$507 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$480.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.041 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.407 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesIndian rupees (INR) per US dollar -
68.3 (2016 est.)
64.152 (2015 est.)
64.152 (2014 est.)
61.03 (2013 est.)
53.44 (2012 est.)
kyats (MMK) per US dollar -
1,205.9 (2016 est.)
1,162.62 (2015 est.)
1,162.62 (2014 est.)
984.35 (2013 est.)
853.48 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
1 April - 31 March
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$359.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$351.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.913 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.463 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$20.86 billion (2016 est.)
-$22.09 billion (2015 est.)
-$4.341 billion (2016 est.)
-$3.067 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.251 trillion (2016 est.)
$68.28 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.516 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.558 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$NA
Central bank discount rate6.25% (31 December 2016)
7.75% (31 December 2014)
note: this is the Indian central bank's policy rate - the repurchase rate
9.95% (31 December 2010)
12% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
10.01% (31 December 2015 est.)
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
13% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.579 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.57 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$21.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$16.01 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$385.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$370.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$18.37 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues12.1% of GDP (FY 2016 est.)
13.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0% of GDP (FY 2016 est.)
-3% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 60.8%
government consumption: 11.4%
investment in fixed capital: 27.6%
investment in inventories: 3%
exports of goods and services: 19%
imports of goods and services: -21.8% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 57.9%
government consumption: 6.2%
investment in fixed capital: 37.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 24.4%
imports of goods and services: -26.4% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving30.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
32.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
17.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook