Myanmar trades more than $1.7 billion with 5 neighbouring countries in more than 2 months

13 January 2021

Myanmar has traded more than $1.7 billion with 5 neighboring countries in more than 2 months, according to the official statistics of the Ministry of Commerce.                           

In over first two months of current fiscal year, Myanmar’s export volume to five neighboring countries via 17 border trade camps reached $1,126.467 million until 18 December, while its import volume reached $621.596 million. Therefore, the total trade volume of Myanmar stood at $ 1,748.063 million till the mid-December.

Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Economic Professor, said that border trade with neighboring countries can be improved and will have the potential for development in the future as well.

“When we talk about the border trade, we need to talk about the countries we are engaged in terms of border trade: China, Thailand, and India. Of course, we have some border trade with Bangladesh as well as Laos. As the situation of Covid improves in these border related countries like China and Thialand, I am sure that the cross-border trade will improve. We will have to make sure that the facilities at the cross-border trade improve so that it will be the smooth movement and good in services. So, it is important for us to ensure efficient and effective border trade locations, which will be very important to promote border trade.”

According to the statistics of export and import volume released by the Department of Trade within the first week of January, Myanmar export volume reached $606.136 million in total within about 20 days from 28th November to 18th December 2020.  

U Than Htike, Secretary of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Muse-Nankham Border Trade Chamber of Commerce, said, “Starting from 6 December, the border trade route from Muse-Mang Weing of Myanmar to Shweli, Kyelgaung of China has been kept opening from 8 am to 8 pm as usual. The director of 105th mile trade zone, the district administrator from the border check point and the provincial official from other country are holding discussions to open the border trade route for 24 hours within 10 days. The main issue is the traffic block of trucks along the border trade route.”

The government is also working to restore the border trade to normal. As of the border traders said the truck drivers will be vaccinated in the coming years that can improve the entry and exit between two countries and it can boost the trade.

U Aung Moe, General Secretary of Myanmar Freight Forwarders Associations, “Border trade is going on as usual. Trucks are rarely allowed to drive due to the COVID-19. Most of the drivers are from China. There are so many steps to follow. What we are doing now is multiple steps and it takes so much time. I think the situation will be better after the vaccination and I can’t predict the situation yet. At that time, we all will be able to work normally again.”

Myanmar’s trade volume via 17 border trade camps reached over $10.5 billion in 2019-2020 FY, with the export volume of over $7 billion and import volume of over $3 billion. Myanmar had a trade surplus of almost US$3.5 billion within 12 months through 17 border trade camps.

Thaw Tar Swe Zin, Pyay Thein and May Myat Noe
Photo Credit - MOI