Eradicate illegal trade in all means for booming State economy


Global countries are experiencing significant revenue losses across various sectors due to illegal trade, amounting to more than US$2 trillion annually, according to a United Nations report. In the agricultural sector alone, the illicit trade of products is estimated to cost between US$30 billion to US$40 billion each year, according to the report.
Illegal drugs and counterfeit pharmaceuticals pose severe risks, including fatalities among children and environmental degradation from illicit chemical drugs. These threats are compounded by the inability to verify the authenticity of illegally traded drugs. Illegal trade and smuggling of medicine are the worst for consumers as these drugs may be dangerous.
In response, the government has established the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee to combat illegal trade systematically. Statistics indicate that from February to April 2024, special task forces across regions and states, along with departmental teams, seized smuggled commodities worth K250.176 billion in 12,430 cases. Currently, combined departmental teams and special task forces from regions and states are still serving duties to eradicate illegal trade measures.
During this period, the Department of Customs confiscated the most enormous volume of illegal and smuggled goods. The special task force in Mandalay Region led to the seizure of unlawful commodities in all regions and states, including the Nay Pyi Taw Council Area. Kachin State’s special task force ranked second in the volume of smuggled products seized, followed by combined teams from the Taninthayi Region, which ranked third. The confiscated goods included unregistered vehicles, heavy machinery, vessels carrying illegal and smuggled goods, intermediate goods, and capital goods.
The escalation of illegal trade in the ASEAN region results in significant monetary losses for governments and legal businesses, and it severely impacts biodiversity, human lives, and human rights. Industries involved in cigarettes, liquor, beverages, toys and game accessories, auto parts, medicines, agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and copyright-protected goods face substantial losses due to illegal trade.
Businesspeople are urged to foster patriotism and integrity in their trading practices to prevent harm to the public and their livelihoods. Myanmar has solid foundations and human resources for development. Despite facing economic sanctions, trade route blockages, and attempts to destabilize peace and commodity flow, collective efforts to overcome these challenges can lead to improvements in the state economy and trade sector. That will also help reduce the depreciation of the Myanmar currency in legal trade transactions.

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