Sino-Myanmar border trade worth over $300 million last month

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Vehicles run near the 105-mile Muse Border Trade Zone in northern Shan State. Muse is the major border trade gate in Myanmar, conducting the largest trade volume. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The border trade between Myanmar and China, the world’s most populous country, was valued at US$316.7 million in October, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Despite China’s ban on the importation of rice, sugar and maize, the figure is up by $51.7 million, compared to the same period in the 2017-2018 FY.
Sino-Myanmar trade in the same period last FY was valued at $264.9 million. Myanmar trades with China through the Muse, Lwejel, Chinshwehaw, Kanpiketee and Kentung gates.
Muse is the major border trade gate in Myanmar, conducting the largest trade volume. The Muse gate saw an increase of $45 million last month, compared with the last FY.
Sino-Myanmar border trade was worth $279.7 million at Muse, $3.5 million at Lwejel, $30.5 million at Chinshwehaw, $2.82 million at Kanpiketee and $0.16 million at Kengtung.
Myanmar’s rice, sugar, pulses, sesame seeds, corn, dried tea leaves, fishery products, minerals and animal products are exported to China, while agriculture machinery, electrical appliances, iron and steel-related materials, raw industrial goods and consumer goods flowed into the country.
Since the first week of October, Myanmar’s rice, sugar and corn exports have been suspended, due to China’s increased security along the Muse border area between China and Myanmar, according to the Muse trade center.
China has set import quotas on some agro products, including rice. Tax is very high for merchants when the import volume exceeds the quota limit, resulting in illegal rice entering China.
Therefore, China’s confiscation of rice in the border areas often occur. The local merchants want legal preferential trade at a cheap tax rate through China, and the Myanmar government is discussing this.
Despite the suspension of trade in rice, sugar and corn trade, watermelon, green grams, rubber, sesame seeds, and onions are regularly traded.

(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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