Myanmar Country profile

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Australian sanctions on Myanmar between 1991 and 2011 weighed heavily on bilateral trade. But the arrival of democracy has ended targeted financial sanctions and travel bans, although Australia continues to maintain an arms embargo. Myanmar is currently Australia’s 72nd largest trading partner. Australia sent A$226m of merchandise and service exports to the country in 2016, mostly wheat.  Import payments were worth A$77m, mainly from seafood.

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Service exports to Myanmar were a mere A$67m in 2016. Student enrolments abroad and in Australia are minuscule, given the low levels of income. Australian aid to Myanmar is worth A$66m (1.7% of the aid budget) in 2017/2018, targeted at education, infrastructure, trade and agriculture.

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Australian investment in Myanmar is also very low, though the country’s large oil and gas reserves present opportunities for Australian mining companies–Woodside and Bluescope Steel already have a sizable presence.