Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is the capital of the Yangon Region and the largest city of Myanmar. Yangon served as the capital of Myanmar until 2006, when the military government relocated the administrative functions to the purpose-built capital city of Naypyidaw in north central Myanmar. Yangon is Myanmar's most populous city and its most important commercial centre.
Yangon boasts the largest number of colonial-era buildings in Southeast Asia, and has a unique colonial-era urban core that is remarkably intact. The colonial-era commercial core is centred around the Sule Pagoda, which is reputed to be over 2,000 years old. The city is also home to the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar's most sacred and famous Buddhist pagoda.
Yangon suffers from deeply inadequate infrastructure, especially compared to other major cities in Southeast Asia. Though many historic residential and commercial buildings have been renovated throughout central Yangon, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be profoundly impoverished and lack basic infrastructure. Yangon is the country's main centre for trade, industry, real estate, media, entertainment and tourism. The city represents about one fifth of the national economy.
The city is Lower Burma's main trading hub for all kinds of merchandise – from basic foodstuffs to used cars although commerce continues to be hampered by the city's severely underdeveloped banking industry and communication infrastructure. Bayinnaung Market is the largest wholesale centre in the country for rice, beans and pulses, and other agricultural commodities. Much of the country's legal imports and exports go through Thilawa Port, the largest and busiest port in Burma. There is also a great deal of informal trade, especially in street markets that exist alongside street platforms of Downtown Yangon's townships.
Manufacturing accounts for a sizeable share of employment. At least 14 light industrial zones ring Yangon, directly employing over 150,000 workers in 4,300 factories. The city is the centre of country's garment industry. More than 80 percent of factory workers in Yangon work on a day-to-day basis. Most are young women between 15 and 27 years of age who come from the countryside. The manufacturing sector suffers from both structural problems (e.g. chronic power shortages) and political problems (e.g. economic sanctions). Yangon's 2500 factories alone needed about 120 MW of power; yet, the entire city received only about 250 MW of the 530 MW needed. Chronic power shortages limit the factories' operating hours between 8 am and 6 pm.
Construction is a major source of employment. Tourism represents a major source of foreign currency for the city. However, after years of under-investment, Yangon's modest hotel infrastructure—only 3000 of the total 8000 hotel rooms in Yangon are "suitable for tourists"—is already bursting at seams, and will need to be expanded to handle additional visitors. As part of an urban development strategy, a hotel zone has been planned in Yangon's outskirts, encompassing government- and military-owned land in Mingaladon, Hlegu and Htaukkyant Townships.
Yangon is rated High Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. High Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Yangon was ranked #115 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Yangon has a population of over 521,400 people. Yangon also forms part of the wider Yangon metropolitan area which has a population of over 5,422,000 people.