Myanmar-China bilateral trade tops $12 bln last FY

The value of Myanmar’s trade with China through the maritime trade route and land border topped $12 billion in the past financial year 2019-2020, the Ministry of Commerce’s trade data showed.
The MoC reported that imports surpassed exports in trade with China, with exports reaching over $5.4 billion and imports valued at over $6.7 billion during the last FY. Myanmar trade deficit in goods with China was estimated at over $1.3 billion, the data released by the Ministry of Commerce indicated.
This year, China has been stepping up border control measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19, causing traffic congestion in the border areas of two sides.
Between the 2016-2017FY and the 2019-2020FY, China has been Myanmar’s largest trade partner beyond the regional states.
The value of Myanmar’s bilateral trade with neighbouring country China through maritime trade and border trade was estimated at US$47.183 billion in the incumbent government period, the statistics issued by the Central Statistical Organization under the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry indicated.
Rice, various types of peas, sesame seeds, corn, fruits and vegetables, dried tea leaves, fishery products, rubber, gem and animal products are primarily exported to China. In contrast, machinery, plastic raw materials, CMP raw materials, consumer products and electronic tools flow into Myanmar.
Myanmar mainly exports agricultural products to China through the border trade, which is often halted, on account of China clamping down on illegal goods. Myanmar merchants are facing difficulties in exporting goods to China through the legitimate channel as they find the tax levied by China is too high.
In a bid to lower trade barriers and offer relief to Myanmar traders through the border trade channel, the Ministry of Commerce, the relevant departments and Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry have been negotiating with China counterparts. Illegal trade is highly witnessed between Myanmar and China borders in the previous years. This year, traders sent the goods via legitimate trade route, and trading volume sharply fell”, said an official of Myanmar Rice Federation.
The two countries are making efforts to set up more border economic cooperation zones and promote border trade. Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce is trying to boost exports of rice, broken rice, agro-products, fruits and fisheries to China through diplomatic negotiations.
Myanmar is carrying out border trade with the neighbouring country China through Muse, Lweje, Chinshwehaw, Kampaiti and Kengtung land border posts.
Apart from its leading trade partner China, Myanmar’s external trade was mostly carried out with the regional trade partners. Trade with countries in the European Union, however, remained uncompetitive, compared with regional trade partners. — Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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