Yangon is Myanmar’s economic centre and former capital, and is the primary driver of Myanmar’s economic growth. Yangon accounts for 23% of the country’s GDP and accounts for 85% of the country’s trade. Myanmar’s major banks and financial institutions, as well as the newly established stock exchange, are located in Yangon. Yangon’s population is largely young and educated, and is expected to grow from 7 million in 2018 to 10 million by 2030.
Yangon is also a major trade and logistics hub, and is home to the country’s main air and seaports, linked by road and rail networks. Yangon also houses Thilawa, Myanmar’s largest Special Economic Zone (SEZ), as well as other key industrial zones for manufacturing activities.
Mandalay is the major trading and communications centre for northern and central Myanmar. Mandalay accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP and is Myanmar’s second largest city with a population of over 1.2 million.
Mandalay is strategically located on important river and land routes from India, China, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia. Mandalay International Airport has the highest capacity in Myanmar at 3 million passengers a year. The city also has regular rail links and coaches with major cities all over Myanmar, and it has highway border linkages with China, India and Thailand. The region and city are set to feature as part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.