From Crisis to Opportunity

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  • By Maw Lin
  • In promoting exports, we need to increase the amount of exports as well as to acquire a larger market. Only if we could acquire a larger market would we be able to strengthen the foundation and create more and more progress. For any export product if the market is not large enough and if we have to depend wholly on one market, an unexpected change in that the market could have a very harmful effect on the national economy.
    It has been learnt that export earnings from various Myanmar beans amounted to 10% of total export earnings. Compared to income from other exports, exports of various kinds of beans outnumbered that of rice. As for growing acreage as well, there was a slight difference between rice and peas—18 million acreage:11 million acreage. Just by seeing it, it can be easily seen that export of various beans plays an important role in Myanmar’s economy. Yet, there has been a disadvantage in exporting beans. It is none other than its absolute dependency on the Indian market.
    Very recently, the Indian government decided to import 2 lakh tons only per year by designating Toor Whole (Pesingone) as restricted goods. Out of various kinds of beans exported, toor whole is the one which fetched the third highest income. Moreover, the toor whole is the one which is grown just for exporting it to India. From this, we can see that a policy change in India can easily harm Myanmar’s toor whole production. We feel that making any policy change depending upon India’s internal demand is not the correct way. Based on friendly bilateral relations, practical ways and means to solve this problem should be made. It has been learnt that discussions on this matter are being made between responsible officials and the Indian Ambassador. If ways and means of solving this problem could be found during the official visit of Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister that had been arranged in the first week of September, friendly relations between the two countries would be further promoted and strengthened.
    The current case of toor whole exports highlights the importance of creation of high-priced agricultural produce. Had pea-based high-priced produce been exported, Myanmar bean growers would have a larger market. India, the country in which peas are mostly consumed could very well become the potential country which can cooperate with Myanmar. Last but not least, we deeply urge to make efforts to turn the current crisis of toor whole—into an opportunity for Myanmar.
  • (Translated by Khin Maung Oo)
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