This is a short news piece but speaks a volume: while during the late 1990s the importance of miningPublished by MAC on 2003-11-14
This is a short news piece but speaks a volume: while during the late 1990s the importance of mining diminished for the Burmese regime, latest figures (if they can be trusted) show that the military is primarily dependent on mining for its foreign exchange (the biggest official contributor being Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines)
Burma regime's mine products lead in export
Xinhua news agency
November 14, 2003
The export of mine products from Myanmar (Burma) reached 429.68 million US dollars in the first half of 2003, standing as the largest in export value categorically, saiys a latest report of the local Business Tank.
The mine products exported represented 34.4 percent of the country's total export of over 1.24 billion dollars during the previous six- month period, the custom data was quoted as saying.
The minerals export was followed by agricultural products (233.01 million dollars), textiles and garments (214.48 million dollars), and timber and forest products (180.45 million dollars).
In 2002, mine products exports went to 932.77 million dollars, taking up 37.9 percent of the total which stood at over 2.46 billion dollars, according to the data.
About a dozen of foreign companies from Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States have been involved in mineral exploration in Myanmar and foreign contracted investment in the sector has reached 526.49 million dollars in 52 projects since the country opened to such investment in late 1988, according to official statistics.
To develop its mining industry, Myanmar has sponsored three rounds of competitive biddings for mineral prospecting and exploration in the country in 1994, 1995 and 1997 respectively with a total of 35 blocks having been granted to foreign companies.
The bid for the fourth round of mineral exploration in 42 blocks was extended by the government in August 2002.