Indonesia is expecting to boost bilateral trade with Myanmar, said Ambassador of Indonesia to Myanmar Prof. Dr. Uza Fadri at Indonesia–Myanmar Business Matching 2018, held in Yangon on 17 September.
Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Myanmar has gradually increased year after year. In 2017, between January and December, bilateral trade between Myanmar and the Republic of Indonesia reached over US$973 million. This year, bilateral trade is expected to reach $1 billion. Myanmar-Indonesia trade increased by 31 per cent, compared to the same period of last year, he added.
“Indonesia will continue to encourage state-owned and private companies to invest in Myanmar,” he added further.
Indonesia exports palm oil, electrical devices and foodstuffs while importing only some agricultural products from Myanmar.
“Bilateral trade between Myanmar and Indonesia has increased, though. Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia is the largest and the most populous country. However, Myanmar’s export volume to Indonesia is less than the import volume. Therefore, the country needs to increase its export volume. Myanmar needs to learn the needs of their market situation. The main challenge for developing countries is supply constraints. The most important thing is, we must have product to sell. Next, we need to care about products quality. Our country can produce only a few products,” said U Aung Soe, director general of Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization.
He added further, “The new government has emphasized on private sector development and encouraged public private partnership (PPP). Myanmar has also focused on the expansion and diversification of external trade by laying down new trade policies and practices, after adoption of the market-oriented economic system and has carried out a number of trade reform measures by liberalizing, facilitating, and streamlining restrictive measures which may hinder fair and free trade and also to be in compliance with our obligations as a member of the WTO.”
Economic Affairs Officer of the Indonesia Embassy in Myanmar Second Secretary Mr. Vinsky G. Wattimena said the Indonesia Embassy holds business matching in Myanmar annually. Although there are some conflicts in Myanmar, Indonesian businesspersons are told that major cities like Yangon and Mandalay are safe, as they worry about these conflicts, added the Economic Affairs Officer.
Indonesia-Myanmar Business Matching 2018 was attended by businesses from both countries, related to food, packaging, construction, telecommunications, banks, electronic devices manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. One-on-one business meetings were also held.
According to figures from Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar- Indonesia trade was $741 million in 2015-2016 FY, $827million in 2016-2017 FY and $1,025 million in 2017-2018 FY.
By May Thet Hnin