The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which was known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian country stuck between Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, Thailand, the Andaman Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. It covers an area of 678,500 square kilometers, making it the largest country in Mainland Southeast Asia.
Myanmar’s economy is one of the world’s fastest-growing and relies on natural gas, oil, jade, and gems, among other renewable energy and minerals. Although rich in resources, the country is getting through rural poverty, corruption, incompetent economic policies, and prevalent government controls. Due to the mismanagement, the country’s socio-economic conditions have deteriorated. This leaves most of the citizens in poverty while military officers and their business cronies profit from the nation’s natural resources. Myanmar’s economy also suffers from severe macroeconomic disparities such as deficits, unpredictable inflation, misstated interest rate, and unreliable statistics.
The Myanmar kyat is the country’s official currency. Its name is derived from the early Burmese monetary unit kyattha which is equivalent to 16.3 grams of silver. Following the reform of Myanmar’s economic system in 1988, the Central Bank of Myanmar was formed with 500 million kyats paid-up capital. Banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar are printed by the Security Printing in Wazi which is under the technical direction of Giesecke & Devrient printed on Giori multi-color intaglio presses.
The first set of banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar was released in 1990 featuring a Chinthe statue which is commonly displayed in Burmese iconography and architecture. Meanwhile, the 1 kyat banknote from this series depicts the Father of the Nation General Aung San wearing a Burma Defense Army uniform with a cap.
The bank’s 2004 issues bear similar designs like that of the preceding issues but have a reduced size and repositioned serial numbers and denomination. In 2012, a 10,000 kyat banknote was introduced featuring the modified state seal. Furthermore, to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the nation’s independence, the bank released a 1,000 kyat banknote on January 4, 2020. The paper bill highlights General Aung San wearing the national dress with a cloth turban called gaungbaung on the obverse while the reverse depicts the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw or the Assembly of the Union legislature buildings.