Living in Myanmar
Did you know that until 2011, the Government of Myanmar didn’t allow tourists to visit the country? This finally changed in 2011 when civil governance came into force, replacing the questionable military rule.
Democracy finally spread its wings.
Ever since, the country has attracted many expatriates. It is opening up opportunities for professionals as well as foreign investors.
Myanmar has been plagued with conflicts for decades. The civil wars have gripped the country since the 1960s.
Important things expats must know about Myanmar
- The customs and local religion must be respected
- The official business dealing asks for tremendous amount of patience
- Do not expect punctuality because of inevitable traffic congestion
- Get equipped with health insurance which includes emergency transportation to a nearby place like Singapore or Bangkok
- Finding an ATM in Myanmar can be a task
- Cabs in Myanmar don’t use meters for charging the fare
Politics in Myanmar
Myanmar, earlier known as Burma, was a monarchy ruled by various dynasties until the 19th century. It was colonized by British in the 19th century and was a part of British India until 1937. It was ruled as a British colony from 1824 until 1948.
Myanmar was considered as a pariah state under the rule of oppressive military junta from 1962 to 2011.
After decades of military rule, in March 2016, Myanmar had the first democratically elected government into office.
Economy of Myanmar
Myanmar’s economic growth is on the rise since 2017. This is backed by the update from Asian Development outlook 2017.
Agriculture is recovering from flooding in 2017. The normal weather in Myanmar is great for crop production. This has resulted in strong international prices for agricultural commodities.
Industry growth is flourishing from the public and private sector investment. Other booming industries are telecommunication and tourism.
Buying and renting property in Myanmar
Earlier, the transfer of immovable property restriction law prohibited the sale of immovable property between citizens of Myanmar and foreigners. However, from January 2016, Myanmar's Union Parliament made it possible through the condominium law. Foreigners can now purchase condominiums in Myanmar with some restrictions.
Property in Myanmar is still very expensive.
The banking sectors in Myanmar is underperforming. The citizens are still reluctant to put their money in banks. This leaves citizens with very few investment opportunities.
One of the most preferred investment options is investing in real estate. This is what has resulted in sky high prices for property in Myanmar.
Not only individuals, but even businesses are reluctant to keep their money in banks. This has resulted in a one-sided flow of all business and individual income into real estate industry thus inflating the prices.
If you’re looking to rent a property, be ready to pay for the entire period of the lease before you move in.
For eg: If your rent is USD $400 a month, on a 1-year lease, you need to pay $4800 to secure the flat.
Usually, landlords will let you rent their property for either a year or 6 months.
Visa and Immigration
The Government’s Ministry of Education operates the educational system of Myanmar. It follows United Kingdom's education curriculum.
The first Government high school was founded by the British colonial administration in 1874. Two years later, this was upgraded and became ‘University College, Rangoon’.
All schools are government-operated, but recently, there has been an increase in privately funded schools. Most of these school are English Medium.
As per UNESCO report, only 50% of Myanmar's children are enrolled in secondary education.
Weather in Myanmar
Myanmar has two distinct seasons dry and wet.
Myanmar has the bulk of annual visitor between November and February. These warm and dry days are the best time to visit the country.
March to May is intensely hot in most of the country. Rains settle in from June to October. There is heavy rainfall for a longer period of time from June to August. During September and October, the rain is less intense.
You can check the current weather of Myanmar here.
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