The 24-hour service at Muse-Man Wein border checkpoint for ten days boosted the exports between Myanmar and China and cut the freight forwarding cost by half in January.
Exports through Muse-Man Wein post were valued at US$229.834 million in December 2020. In contrast, the value rose to $270.359 million in January 2021, showing an increase of $40.5 million. Similarly, the figures showed an increase of $10.243 million in imports as well.
Furthermore, the Muse-Man Wein checkpoint gave the go-ahead to over 15,600 trucks in January 2021.
Usually, Myanmar-China cross-border Man Wein was open for trading between 6 am and 10 pm, in line with COVID-19 health guidelines. Following a friendly negotiation between a team led by the Muse District Head and the People’s Government of Ruili officials, trading hours through Muse-Man Wein were extended to 24 hours between 5 and 14 January on a trial basis. As a result of this, exports remarkably soared in January.
Myanmar shipped sesame, peanut, green gram, minerals and onions to China via Muse. It imports cotton, fertilizer, mobile phone and telecommunication products, iron and steel products and machine and auto parts.
Additionally, the authorities concerned from both sides negotiated the extending trading hours in Kyinsankyawt and Pan Hseng (Kyukok) and the Hsinphyu crossings’ reopening. At present, trading hours in the Kyinsankyawt checkpoint extended from 6 am to 8:30 pm. Furthermore, Pan Hseng (Kyukok) and Wan Ding border posts also gave the green light to fruit trucks under the driver substitution system.
The trade value through the Muse border soared to US$2.127 billion between 1 October and 12 February of the current financial year 2020-2021. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the figures reflected an increase of $192.58 million compared to the corresponding period of the previous FY.
Muse is an important border in Myanmar and handles an enormous volume of trade. But at times, it has experienced a sharp drop in trade on account of China clamping down on illegal goods, resulting in a halt in the trade of agricultural products. Moreover, COVID-19 impacts slow the business last year.
Myanmar intended to reach a trade target of over $5 billion through Muse for the last FY 2019-2020. However, only $4.86 billion worth goods were traded. Border trade values at Muse stood at $5.4 billion in the 2016-2017FY, $5.8 billion in the 2017-2018FY and $4.9 billion in the 2018-2019FY, respectively, as per data of the Commerce’s Ministry.
In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus on the border, China banned border crossing. Shortly after that, about 50 drivers are allowed to pass the border under the driver substitution system. Those drivers are, however, tested every three days. As a result of this, China included them in the vaccination programme, covering 41 Myanmar truck drivers so far, said the vice-chair of Muse rice wholesale centre.
Myanmar exports agricultural products, including rice, beans and corns, and fishery products such as crab and prawn. Furthermore, Myanmar’s natural gas export to China is also conducted through the Muse-Ruili border. The raw CMP materials, electrical appliance and consumer goods are imported into the country. — KK/GNLM