Myanmar-India border trade increases amidst coronavirus pandemic

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File photo shows: Myanmar - India friendship bridge between Myanmar and India. Photo: IPRD

The bilateral border trade between Myanmar and India totalled US$115.4 million as of 12 February in the financial year 2020-21, an increase by $59.23 million compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Between 1 October and 12 February of this FY, Myanmar exported some $114.79 million worth of commodities to India. In contrast, imports from Myanmar’s second-largest neighbouring country were worth $0.62 million. The two countries’ border trade was US$56.18 million last year.

The border trade between the two countries is conducted mainly through Tamu, Reed and Thantlang cross-border points. In contrast, a significant part of bilateral trade is delivered through ships.

“India and Myanmar closed the border in March 2020. Border closure also included the crossing between Tamu and the India town of Moreh on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the border trade resumed on 6 January following the COVID-19 rules and regulations,” said the Tamu Merchants Association official.

The vast South Asian country’s imports from Myanmar include areca nuts, ginger, saffron, turmeric, bay leaves and other fruits and vegetables besides human hair, fishery and forest products. It mostly exports medicines, oil cakes, electronic products, motorbikes, cotton yarn, non-alloy steel and other construction materials.

Myanmar’s total border trade with China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh via the 16 land borders was valued at $3.98 billion, including $2.7 billion in exports and $1.26 billion in imports. — Zwe/GNLM

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