By Nyein Nyein
Although the flow of the trade at Sino-Myanmar border is delayed, the trade flow has grown since early October, said U Min Thein, the vice-chairman of Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. “The Sino-Myanmar border trade has improved significantly since 8 October. Around 50 trucks carrying 640 rice bags each are entering through the border daily. So, around 32,000 rice bags are entering daily. And more than 30,000 rice bags are sold to China daily. Similarly, the corn has been permitted to enter as well. Around 30 trucks carrying corn bags are entering as well as other trucks carrying a variety of beans, sugar liquid and other goods are also entering every day. About 150 trucks are entering China daily,” he further said.
Likewise, about 150 trucks from China carrying construction materials, medicines, food products and other personal goods are entering Myanmar.
Although around 450-500 truckloads of cargo were not unusual earlier, now, only around 150 trucks can go through the border, and this has caused delays in trade. There is difficulty in the flow of goods into China because of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 detecting and replacing the drivers, he added.
“There is a delay of the goods flow. The drivers started having the COVID-19 tested since mid-October. For example, in Mandalay, there are five checkpoints to test the COVID-19 for Mandalay-Muse trucks’ drivers. Earlier, it was a three-day trip to Mandalay-Muse. Now, one truckload has to go for a six-day trip, which is three more days. It is a ten-day trip to reach Shweli through 105th Mile. Early, it was only a five-day trip to reach Shweli from Mandalay. Now, we have to take at least 16 or 17 days to reach Shweli. Now, we are facing many difficulties; however, the trucks are entering as usual,” he explained.
Muse Highway Freight Forwarders Association requested Myanmar truck drivers to enter China because some of Myanmar’s export products such as fruits and aquaculture products have to go through delays and some shipments suffer spoilage as a result of China’s restriction for security reasons.
China has locked down a city on the border with Myanmar except for hospitals and shopping centres in Shweli on 14 September after authorities detected new coronavirus cases there on 12 September.
Besides, China’s Customs office was also suspended beginning from 15 September, and the Sino-Myanmar border economy has stopped completely. However, China reopened its Customs office at Shweli border crossing on 22 September, and the bilateral trade has been resumed. (Translated by Hay Mar)