After a period of inward-looking policy Burma started in the mid-seventies to open its doors to foreign trade. The perspective of the long-term plan to transform the country’s economy from an agricultural economy into first an agro-based industrializing country and then into an industrialized one could be undermined by the decline in the unit prices of traditional export products. This danger highlights the importance of outside financing. However, in order not to get involved in debt problems it is essential that in project evaluation and selection the foreign exchange impact gets a proper weight. In the long run the economic progress of Burma may strongly depend on how the ethnic conflicts can be settled, on the quality of the socialist economic planning system, and on the role the private sector will be conceded.