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The History and Geography of Myanmar Essay

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Myanmar, also referred to as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia encompassing a land mass comparable to the size of Texas, with an area of 676,578 square kilometers (“Burma”). The country borders two of the world’s superpowers, India and China, as well as a widespread border with Thailand. Laos and Bangladesh also share relatively small borders with Myanmar. The country’s location can be seen as highly strategic. The placement of Myanmar lies near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes, making trade an asset to the country.
The Irrawaddy, Myanmar’s major river, runs South across the country. It is Myanmar’s longest river, with a total navigable length of approximately 900 miles (Tinker). The Irrawaddy runs through Myanmar’s Central Lowlands, the most important area of the country in terms of population and economics. The river is navigable for most of its length, therefore serving as Myanmar’s major transportation route for communication, warfare, and most importantly trade.
Myanmar consists of six diverse regions, divided into the Central Lowlands, the Tenasserim, the Shan Plateau, the Northern and Western Mountains, and Arakan (Silverstein). The Central Lowlands contain the upper Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers. Along the banks of these rivers are permanent communities and developed agriculture. The Tenasserim is Myanmar’s coastal area between the Andaman Sea and the country’s southeastern border. This region is vital for its tin resources, fisheries, and rubber. The third region of Myanmar is the Shan Plateau. This area includes the eastern uplands that rise from the central plain, narrowing southward into the Tenasserim. The northern uplands have an average elevation of approximately 3,000 feet, and are watered by the Salween and...


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... focus on Myanmar’s strength in its natural resources. Currently, the population of Myanmar faces numerous export restrictions, production controls, and orders from the military that overpower the agricultural landscape. Myanmar’s recent success as an exporter of beans and pulses shows that it can react strongly and quickly to market signals (“Economics”). If the country were to practice export substation, Myanmar would experience a shift to the export of its increasingly processed products of beans and pulses. By exporting more of these raw materials, the country would decrease unemployment rates and create added value to the country. This policy is superior to import substitution because Myanmar’s power lies with its agricultural production. By exporting more of these goods, and importing less, Myanmar would increase its GDP and begin to fix its economic problems.


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