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Myanmar-China trade now $10 billion a year

Jun 15. 2017
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By Myanmar Eleven
Asia News Network

Trade volume between Myanmar and China has reached US$10 billion per year, accounting for 30 per cent of Myanmar’s foreign trade, Ministry of Commerce permanent secretary Toe Aung Myint said on Wednesday.

In the export sector, marine trade reached more than $1.3 billion and border trade $638 million. 

Total export volume for the 2017-2016 fiscal year topped $1.9 billion by June 2. 

In the import sector, marine trade reached $2.6 billion, border trade $467 million and the total volume was over $3.1 billion.

Trade volume has hit $5 billion this year, up $730 million from the same period last year, according to the ministry.

“Myanmar’s export volume is expected to triple under the new government,” deputy commerce minister Aung Htoo said. “Illegal trade at the border must become official trade. Value-added agricultural products must be manufactured. Gems must be finished products rather than raw.”

Myanmar exports agricultural, marine and forest products, minerals, industrial goods and other items and imports raw materials for industry and personal goods. 

Although the country has natural resources to export, it is not a competitive exporter of natural gas. Low rates could hurt the economy, commerce minister Than Myint said.

“Revenue is a main issue for the country,” he said. “Falling oil prices harm exports. Timber production from the forest is now being reduced. Reforestation will have to be carried out during the reduction of timber production. It can somewhat hurt the country’s economy.”

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