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why is myanmar so far economically behind thailand?


ultimate weapon

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A very brief search would lead you to the answers. Civil war, isolationist policies, cronyism and economic mismanagement on a scale unimaginable.

Whilst other parts of S. E. Asia were transforming their economies from rural subsistence to export-driven industrial agriculture and industrialisation in the form of cheap labour and land, Burma was sucking the very life force out of its own people ............... for decades!

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Isn't it a pity like throughout history both countries were neck to neck in terms of accomplishments and burma worn more battles against the siamese in fact i think the burmese had a slight edge i think until the age of european colonalism came along and then burma just went on a downward slide.

If you could make the comparison of these 2 countries into 2 humans it would be like these 2 people when they were kids did rather equally well in school and college and this kid A had a slight advantage yet say towards adulthood kid A started to go in a downward spiral perhaps due to life's circumstances let's not say drugs as it sounds rather cliche maybe due to bad company and kid B wasn't sucked in and after a number of years kid B is well far ahead while A is lagging far behind. Isn't that the story of burma and thailand?

Is it a source of shame for the burmese? Like during historical times they always kept the thais on their toes and even managed to beat them in terms of their empirical expansions or say wars fought yet during the 19th to 20th century they fell so far behind their citizens have to work in thailand in low paying jobs being abused by the thais.

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You have a very strange idea about SEA history.

Before Chinese / European / British colonialism the borders and 'kingdoms' were much different from today.

You want to make an argument that can't be made, given all the changes that have occurred over the time range.

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One bright area for Myanmar is that its rice farmers make twice the profit amrgins on rice sales than do Thai rice farmers who are currently the poorest among other farmers in Asean countries.

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During the Vietnam war the Americans gave Thailand a basic infrastructure, roads, airfields, ports, refineries, etc. On top of that they kicked-off a tourist industry by sending the troops here for R and R. That was the kick-starter for Thailand.

Myanmar has non of that now and has been locked up for a while, but now that opening up and it's one of the last "greenfield" countries in the world it will develop fast!

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Fist impression for answer: British colony and later military leadership followed by international, mainly economic sanctions; whilst Thailand has never been colonized and especially the later decades open for business and trade.
smile.png

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Average life expectancy at birth is 65 (2013)
Burma is rich in natural resources with petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower and is favourably geographically located, having a large coastline and borders with Bangladesh, China, Thailand, India, and Laos.
Indeed for a period during the British rule until 1948 it was the second richest nation in South East Asia, becoming the world’s largest rice exporter and having a highly literate population.
After becoming independent the government adopted a welfare state program with central planning, financed by excessive money printing. Rice exports fell by over 60 percent and inflation became a serious problem. The problems were further compounded after a coup in 1962 which pursued socialism and nationalized industries The economic malaise deteriorated even further until Burma reached rock bottom in 1987 as it was classified as a “Least Developed Nation” and is now the poorest country in Southeast Asia.
Although after 1987 controls were relaxed there was no real improvement in GDPpc until 2000. However Burma still falls way behind its potential. Through bad fiscal/monetary management inflation is running in double figures.
Rice is the main agricultural product, and a significant source of foreign currency comes through the illegal drug production of opium and methamphetamines.
Due to the non-democratic political system, questionable property rights and human rights issues, sanctions have been imposed by western countries on investment and trade. There are signs of optimism as Burma now has a democratic system, but the army is still very present in running the country.
Infrastructure remains undeveloped with poor transport systems, water quality and a large proportion of the country still have no reliable electricity supply.
Through years of mismanagement by the government Burma has sunk from being the second richest country in Southeast Asia to being the poorest. Communism, a lack of democracy and closing the doors to the world have resulted in Burma failing to reach its potential for growth.

The above is part of a study I did a while ago.

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Colonisation in the past, whether British or otherwise, does not necessarily have any bearing on the present; in SE Asia compare Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam for example, all of which were colonised.

The causes of economic development or stagnation are more complex than simply blaming the colonial power, much as some would like to hang that hat on them. They include, inter alia, the system of government, rule of law, demographics, civil or ethnic conflict, insurgencies, natural resources and their management and so on. The list is long and the relationship between the various factors is complex.

In Burma's case the primary reasons for the country's economic backwardness vis-a-vis Thailand over the past fifty years are poor governance and endemic corruption, in my opinion.

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During the Vietnam war the Americans gave Thailand a basic infrastructure, roads, airfields, ports, refineries, etc. On top of that they kicked-off a tourist industry by sending the troops here for R and R. That was the kick-starter for Thailand.

Myanmar has non of that now and has been locked up for a while, but now that opening up and it's one of the last "greenfield" countries in the world it will develop fast!

I think you're right about the infrastructure development the U.S. gave Thailand. Bear in mind it was for strategic purposes, to prevent China from getting control of South-East Asia and to have a base for our military. I don't think the R&R was very important. I worked at the reception center for six months in 1971 and even then it was only four or five hundred a week. It was good for a couple thousand people in the sex industry, but not significant in an economy of 60 million people. One thing I never have understood was why the Thais didn't make use of the excellent harbor facilities we built at Sattahip. Guess there were more bribes to be had building the port at Laem Chabang. True, it's closer to Bangkok, but the port facilities are not as convenient to the railroad, so you have a lot more truck traffic.

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During the Vietnam war the Americans gave Thailand a basic infrastructure, roads, airfields, ports, refineries, etc. On top of that they kicked-off a tourist industry by sending the troops here for R and R. That was the kick-starter for Thailand.

Myanmar has non of that now and has been locked up for a while, but now that opening up and it's one of the last "greenfield" countries in the world it will develop fast!

No 1 on the ageing paedophiles bucket list no doubt.

After they have been through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam who are, fortunately, waking up to these creatures.

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Average life expectancy at birth is 65 (2013)
Burma is rich in natural resources with petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower and is favourably geographically located, having a large coastline and borders with Bangladesh, China, Thailand, India, and Laos.
Indeed for a period during the British rule until 1948 it was the second richest nation in South East Asia, becoming the world’s largest rice exporter and having a highly literate population.
After becoming independent the government adopted a welfare state program with central planning, financed by excessive money printing. Rice exports fell by over 60 percent and inflation became a serious problem. The problems were further compounded after a coup in 1962 which pursued socialism and nationalized industries The economic malaise deteriorated even further until Burma reached rock bottom in 1987 as it was classified as a “Least Developed Nation” and is now the poorest country in Southeast Asia.
Although after 1987 controls were relaxed there was no real improvement in GDPpc until 2000. However Burma still falls way behind its potential. Through bad fiscal/monetary management inflation is running in double figures.
Rice is the main agricultural product, and a significant source of foreign currency comes through the illegal drug production of opium and methamphetamines.
Due to the non-democratic political system, questionable property rights and human rights issues, sanctions have been imposed by western countries on investment and trade. There are signs of optimism as Burma now has a democratic system, but the army is still very present in running the country.
Infrastructure remains undeveloped with poor transport systems, water quality and a large proportion of the country still have no reliable electricity supply.
Through years of mismanagement by the government Burma has sunk from being the second richest country in Southeast Asia to being the poorest. Communism, a lack of democracy and closing the doors to the world have resulted in Burma failing to reach its potential for growth.

The above is part of a study I did a while ago.

The above is a cut and paste from Wikipedia or somewhere else I did five minutes ago. Aren't I brilliant?

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Mr. Lee the new PM for Singapore, during his acceptance speech in the early 50's, declared that he would lead Singapore to become as strong economically and culturally as Burma was at that time within a few decades. Once the military Junta took over in Burma during the early 60's, their future was sealed to a one person view of self empowerment with total control.....

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Really?! Wikipedia is just an internet connection and a few clicks away, mate!

Why does anyone rely on wikipedia for historical information or any other kind for that matter when everything in in wikipedia can be edited and or re written by any person of the street. Certainly not Scholars with the Burmese review as noted above in a previous thread wondering why that poster didn't add his own view into the Burmese portion of the wikipedia blurb.sorry.gif.pagespeed.ce.HIAcli9fRMpIEuy7Hannoyed.gif.pagespeed.ce.EWbqpZ7s0bWXwkG .

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Wow... not interested in doing your own quick research?

History of Burma as written in Wikipedia

Personally I like to blame the English. More likely it's their crazy issues with superstition.

There you go again, blame the English. It states ever since their independence they have been in the longest civil war recorded. Same with all the African States all in the shit since getting their independence.

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The main difference is bad governance especially since 1964. One party rule. Nationalisation of all property and wealth. The lockdown of the country being lead by men with no vision. Who destroyed the education system, health system, etc. and kept Myanmar isolated and whos only aim seems to have been to stay in power at all costs. Oh and corruption. And the fact that people fled the country because of the bad governance.

But you have to be careful to remember that Myanmar has more ethnic groups who remain divided and have been united only by force of the military. This is the Union of Burma or now Union of Myanmar. This ethnic division is the cause of the military dictatorship. Thailands political division is its source of Military Coups.

If you look back in history you will see this pattern over and over. Whoever gets in power in Myanmar kills off all other contenders for the throne and ignorantly thought they where the centre of the world. In Thailand they sent Royal family members overseas to study and encouraged education. So you have people of wider learning in charge in Thailand.

Just because the Burmese where better conquerers in the past and managed to rape and pillage other countries does not mean much but it was the method of times past. They actually got a bit of a boost from the British which saw them ahead and they lost it all by their own bad luck and dictatorship of greedy men. So they went backwards for 60 years. Big hole to dig out of now. Dont be surprised if the same issues of ethnic tensions reappear again. They still have not solved this.

So summary, ethnic division and military solutions to hold the Union together.

The British both created the Myanmar rice trade and opened up the delta but also the opium as well. But dont worry what you guage as success now, may be an advantage in the future. The acceleration of Thailand over the last 30 years always astonishes me. Myanmar just stayed in backward gear far too long under bad leadership.

PS. If I wrote this 5 years ago I would have gone to jail for 14 years. So if you rule by fear you screw your country just remember that.

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They should be better off than Thailand plenty of raw materials and huge access to the bay of Bengal and so Indian and Indian Ocean . It basically Government or the lack of it and corruption. Like Singapore and Malaysia, Malaysia should be a leader in Asean but due to bad government and corruption they are not

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Amongst other factors....I would say it has a whole lot to do with how the military dictators were in no hurry to develop the country rather keep the county in a state of limbo and have near total control over everyone and nearly everything.

It has worked in the favor of the Military regime for the last 40 years while the country is just beginning to develop more so than ever before.

Other than that...yes, read the history of the country and you learn as to why it is so far behind...having numerous factors....while I would throw in one more aspect...that been the mentality of the Burmese and certainly those that have ruled the country in recent times is hard to comprehend.

Cheers

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....One thing I never have understood was why the Thais didn't make use of the excellent harbor facilities we built at Sattahip. Guess there were more bribes to be had building the port at Laem Chabang. True, it's closer to Bangkok, but the port facilities are not as convenient to the railroad, so you have a lot more truck traffic.

And Sattahip are/were not the only deep water port facilities for the Eastern Seabord Industries.

However, if local maritime regulations require you to use a pilot to dock your freighters/tankers there and the only pilots you can get, are for Laem Chabang....

The result of this you can see everyday on the motorway: endless trucks - good business for those logistics providers.

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During the Vietnam war the Americans gave Thailand a basic infrastructure, roads, airfields, ports, refineries, etc. On top of that they kicked-off a tourist industry by sending the troops here for R and R. That was the kick-starter for Thailand.

Myanmar has non of that now and has been locked up for a while, but now that opening up and it's one of the last "greenfield" countries in the world it will develop fast!

I think you're right about the infrastructure development the U.S. gave Thailand. Bear in mind it was for strategic purposes, to prevent China from getting control of South-East Asia and to have a base for our military. I don't think the R&R was very important. I worked at the reception center for six months in 1971 and even then it was only four or five hundred a week. It was good for a couple thousand people in the sex industry, but not significant in an economy of 60 million people. One thing I never have understood was why the Thais didn't make use of the excellent harbor facilities we built at Sattahip. Guess there were more bribes to be had building the port at Laem Chabang. True, it's closer to Bangkok, but the port facilities are not as convenient to the railroad, so you have a lot more truck traffic.

It's not the number of R&R, it's the formula that was developed that makes the omnipresent Asian prostitution attractive to westerners. You can still see that there is a big difference between the prostitution offered to foreigners and to locals. But the formula that foreigners like is one of the attractions of Thailand for sure.

Sattahip port was and still is a navy port, but increasingly used to service the off shore industry.

Railroads are completely underdeveloped and still in the state that they where at the end of world war 2, present from the Japanese...

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Mr. Lee the new PM for Singapore, during his acceptance speech in the early 50's, declared that he would lead Singapore to become as strong economically and culturally as Burma was at that time within a few decades. Once the military Junta took over in Burma during the early 60's, their future was sealed to a one person view of self empowerment with total control.....

Do you have a source? I thought that would be an interesting quote, but found nothing.

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Military dictatorship, happens every time, economic suicide for any country.

Now Thailand has a Military dictatorship too, Myanmar will catch up.

I just did a 6-night cruise on the Irrawaddy from Mandalay to Bhamo, from what I seen on the 300km stretch was nothing more than a string of discontinued dilapidation in the form of towns and villages,boats and barges on the river.

The country,culture and people have been crushed by the Junta. On the surface I found it difficult to tell if I was in a Hindu,Muslim or Buddhist country. The Bamar-people are lost.

Our 2-night stay in Mandalay was more than enough to reset my appreciation for Thailand.

Sorry to say, but IMHO there would have to be a catastrophic economic and social meltdown in SEA for Myanmar to "catch-up", my travels there left me with a tragic and hopeless resolve for the country and people.

post-129987-0-52315500-1419597579_thumb.

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Mr. Lee the new PM for Singapore, during his acceptance speech in the early 50's, declared that he would lead Singapore to become as strong economically and culturally as Burma was at that time within a few decades. Once the military Junta took over in Burma during the early 60's, their future was sealed to a one person view of self empowerment with total control.....

Well now that Burma or Myanmar is an economic basket case and Singapore has achieved that prime position (actually it probably achieved it as early as the 1980s), Mr. Lee can be comfortably proud of his achievements. But now that Singapore has achieved it's place at the top of the global hierarchy by transforming itself into a regional economic powerhouse where finance, telecommunications, logistics and trade, petrochemicals and high tech industries have been able to thrive, it's time to turn our attention on how to turn around Myanmar's lagging economy and turn it back into the top position it deserves to be in. However, without a Burmese visionary like Mr. Lee that may prove to be a tough order, even if Mr. Than Sein's 2011 liberalization has started opening up the country and improving living standards, but it's whether he is capable of the type of vision that Mr. Lee had that may determine Myanmar's future direction.

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  • 6 months later...

Why is it that even educated people back in the 1940's still kept their culture, and an educated Burmese would still act "Burmese," but now, in the present day, any educated Burmese or Thai will completely throw away their culture and act "Western." These days the only people who actually retain the culture are impoverished people.

It may be because the internet exists now, so educated people are linked in to the rest of the world and would rather have that than be "Burmese," or "Thai."

Maybe it's better than Myanmar stays impoverished forever, instead of becoming just another tourist shithole like Thailand.

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