MAEA plans to end foreign black market in agarwood

Myanmar’s special AAA+ grade  agarwood.
Myanmar’s special AAA+ grade agarwood.

Yangon, 18 Feb — The Myanmar Agarwood Entrepreneurs Association plans to end the issue of the black market in agarwood to save the market overseas.
Immature agarwood can not attract customers in the foreign market, causing a market depression, a member of the association said.
The quality of Myanmar’s agarwood is higher than products from other countries and its price is high compared with foreign market prices, according to the MAEA.
Meanwhile, the association also plans to open the country’s first agarwood sales centre and will exhibit many kinds of agarwood products.
Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and China are main importers of agarwood from Myanmar where illegal trading in agarwood has been banned since 1947.
The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry is also planning to reduce the tax on agarwood produced by agarwood farms with idea being to set the tax on agarwood produced at the farms at less than 25 per cent of the local price.
The ministry has encouraged commercial plantations of agarwood in Myanmar in an attempt to protect Aquilaria agallocha and Aquilaria malaccenis, which produce agarwood, as many Aquilaria agallocha and Aquilaria malaccenis trees naturally grown in forests have been cut down by poachers.
Farms registered at the ministry and which have paid the tax on agarwood are allowed to export the wood, one of the most expensive forest products in the world. It is highly valued in the making of perfume.
According to agarwood farmers in Myanmar, 1 viss (1.63 kg) of first-grade agarwood can fetch from K20 to K30 million, but a tree that is less than 50 years old cannot produce quality agarwood.
Since 1995, Aquilaria malaccensis, the primary source, has been listed as a potentially threatened species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
There are about 50 million agarwood trees are growing on 50,000 acres of private agarwood plantations, according to the MAEA.— GNLM

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