By Ti Kyi Maung
Since the time when motor vehicles were invented on the planet humans have been using vehicles more and more until now. With the advancement of techniques on motor vehicles, production and utilization of vehicles are increasing simultaneously. Being a sector of importance for every nation, emergence of strengthened laws, rules and policies on motor vehicles as well is very important for every nation.
Starting from 2012 when Myanmar entered the Era of the Myanmar Democratic Transition policies on imported vehicles were remarkably alleviated, and as a result myriads of various kinds of vehicles came into Myanmar car markets, making prices of cars plunge rapidly down.
Thus, many people from different classes of the society managed to drive their own cars. Yet, on the other hand Yangon populace is coming to suffer from problems of traffic jam and tremendously abundance of vehicles in the city because there are not yet any arrangements for construction of roads and car parking plots, almost every day.
Accordingly, it is of great importance to systematically make necessary arrangements after adjusting potential disadvantages concerning related sectors in implementing policies laid down for the convenience of the people.
According to the statistics from the government departments there were a total of 365000 cars registered in 2011, with more than 721000 vehicles registered in 2016.
Thus, the amounts of vehicle increased over 356000 within five years period. In other word, numbers of registered cars increased nearly two times within 5-year period.
It was estimated that there would be more than 2 million vehicles in 2020 according to the motor vehicle manufacturers, being three times the amounts of registered cars in 2016. In addition to this, it is expected that there will be 4 million or so in 2025 and 10 million or so in 2030. If so, one every 6-7 persons will drive their own cars in 2030, according to the expected population of 60-70 million in 2030.
ASEAN regional countries are the 5th biggest vehicle market in the world, importing over 3 million vehicles annually, with China, US, EU countries and Japan preceding it.
As regards manufacturing cars, the ASEAN became the hub of the global car production, producing over 4 million vehicles annually.
According to the statistics of ASEAN Automotive Federation Thailand manufactured a total of 1944417 vehicles in 2016, ranking 12th in the world, it was learnt. Thailand stood first in the production of cars among the ASEAN nations, mainly manufacturing pick-ups and truck with one-ton load. Thailand exported half of its production to other countries. And it managed to get US $ 7.6 billion as the national revenue from its car production.
It is in fact 12.5 per cent of the GDP. According to the statistics of the International Labor Organization [ILO], motor vehicles and its accessories production industries created more than 0.4 million jobs.
Indonesia stood second in production of cars among the ASEAN nations, producing 1177389 vehicles in 2016 with 1061859 sold out, it was learnt. Data of the ILO, in 2015 had showed that motor vehicles and its accessories production industries, Indonesia managed to create over 0.2 million jobs, followed by Malaysia ranking as the 3rd in ASEAN nations producing 545253 units and creating nearly 80000 jobs in 2016.
Vehicle manufacturing factories, car assembly plants and sale industries which achieve sustainable development are developing with great momentum in the regional nations including Myanmar. Under the situations of Myanmar’s population and its area, Myanmar will still need to manufacture or import vehicles.
But, though the country is making efforts to produce cars presently, it was found that there were not yet necessary arrangements by looking at potential impacts over up-gradation of standards of roads, systematic management, implementation of car parking construction, increasing need of lubricants and other related sectors.
There are advantages which will be beneficial in every sector including national economic development, human resource development, SMEs’ development, convenience of social lives and creation of job opportunities by developing the sector of vehicle manufacture. But, unless policies and laws are rightfully laid down and implemented, disadvantages will be greater than advantages. Actually it is the sector that the State Government should take it into consideration specifically.
Provided that Myanmar can implement for the greater development of motor vehicle production likewise the regional countries, Myanmar will be able to fulfill the needs of local markets with too much demands with reasonable prices as well as potential prospects for export to the global markets if internationally standardized vehicles can be manufactured. On the other hand, it is of great importance to take free competition in manufacturing sector which is a promising industry in Myanmar into consideration.
Today’s technology is always developing. Bringing about the cutting edge technology can completely change social life patterns of the world. For example, emergence of IT Information Technology, invention of iPhone from Apple Company and establishment of Face-book are remarkable triumph of IT sector.
Similarly, industries of the global vehicle production technology are making researches by investing with the greatest lump sum for inventing electric cars and driverless cars.
If the currently used diesel and octane cars are out of date in near future, production of modern cars will rapidly soar up.
Accordingly, under the current situations Myanmar is following in the further back in the production of vehicles. But, if implemented through rightful plan and arrangement, it can push Myanmar toward the top, needing to firmly grasp the opportunity. Provided that it can be successfully implemented the sector of vehicle production can help for successful development of Myanmar’s economy. To sum it up, the State Government should consult and cooperate with experts and professionals from home and abroad concerning the vehicle production.
Khin Maung Oo