Myanmar bamboo association: Need to cut red tape to boost exports of value-added furniture

By Nyein Nyein

To increase exports of value-added furniture produced from bamboo and rattan in Myanmar, excessive regulations need to be cut down, said U Nay Tun Min, chair of the Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association.
Although the government has reduced some regulations to promote bamboo and rattan exports, there is still greater and more rigid conformity to official rules compared with other countries, he said.
“Compared to foreign countries, there is more red tape here across the supply chain, starting from cutting of bamboo to production. The income from bamboo and rattan furniture exports is just US$1-2 million per year. Countries like Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Thailand earn a billion as income from that sector. We are struggling to earn even $1-2 million. The government has reduced certain rules, but there are many procedural stages. Cutting red tape can promote exports and allow us to explore more markets,” said U Nay Tun Min.
Additionally, tax is being levied on bamboo and rattan furniture exports. Therefore, the association said it has asked for tax relief.
“A 2-per-cent tax is levied on exports, unlike in other countries. Some countries reduce value-added tax and profit tax for manufacturing firms. The government has still not reduced tax in that sector,” said U Nay Tun Min.
Besides, raw bamboo has become rare, and its price is higher than in other countries, said bamboo and rattan entrepreneurs.
At present, the association has leased 100 acres of land in Taikkyi, Yangon Region and Minhla, Bago Region each.
It has also asked the government to allow it to lease 5,000 acres of land in western Bago for planting bamboo and hardwood.
The association is conducting courses related to bamboo selection, value-adding technology, market exploration, and bamboo and rattan cultivation.(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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