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Construction of Bago-Kyaik Hto Expressway to commerce in 2022

Construction of an expressway connecting the city of Bago and Kyaik Hto Township in Mon State is expected to start in fiscal 2022-23. This comes after the Asia Development Bank (ADB) last week approved a US$483.8 million loan to build the 64-km expressway. Detailed design work is currently underway for the project. They will continue to work on compensation for the residents who live along the road area.

The project, which is expected to be complete in fiscal 2028-29, will include a 2.3- km bridge across the Sittaung River. The Japan International Cooperation Agency will finance the New Sittaung Bridge construction with a ¥27.8 billion loan. The project falls under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) from Bago to Kyaik Hto, The 4-lane asphalt concrete highway with 3.5 meter wide carriageway, 2.5-meter wide median and 2.5- meter wide median and 2.5-meter wide shoulder on each side will also provide easier access to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon. The EWEC connects Thailand with Thilawa SEZ, and onwards to Pathein in Ayeyarwaddy.

The project will facilitate more efficient and safer movement of goods and people within Bagon Region, Mon State and Yangon Region by reducing travel time, shortening travel distance, minimizing transport costs and improving regional connectivity with Thailand and other GMS regions. The project will also help improve the ability of the Ministry of Construction to manage the country’s major toll highways and implement social and environmental safeguards. It will include a new community-based road safety program for villagers along the Bago- Kyaikto corridor.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Myanmar-Thailand trade tops $20 bln in past 4 years

The value of Myanmar’s bilateral trade with neighbouring country Thailand in maritime trade and border trade was estimated at US$18.865 billion in the past four financial years, the statistics issued by the Central Statistical Organization under the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry indicated. The ministry reported that exports surpassed imports in trade with Thailand in the past four years, with exports reaching over $10.731 billion and imports valued at over $8.13 billion. Between 2016-2017FY and 2019-2020 (as of August), Thailand has been Myanmar’s largest trade partner among the ASEAN states, followed by Singapore and Malaysia.

Thailand accounted for 14.45 pc of total trade in 2016-2017FY with an estimated trade value of US$4.6 billion, 15.54 pc in 2017-2018FY with a trade value of $5.57 billion, 15.55 pc in 2018-2019FY with $5.46 billion and 13.92 pc in 2019-2020FY (Oct-April) with $3.15 billion respectively. Exports of natural gas from Taninthayi Region has contributed to the enormous increase in border trade with Thailand in the previous year. This year, corn exports to Thailand rose significantly compared with the earlier years, the Ministry of Commerce stated. Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, corns, bamboo shoots, sesame seeds, garment, footwear, plywood and veneer, broken rice and other commodities to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, and consumer goods such as cosmetics, edible vegetable oil and food products from the neighbouring country.

Myanmar is carrying out border trade with the neighbouring country Thailand through Tachilek, Myawady, Myeik, Mawtaung, Hteekhee, Kawthoung and Maese border areas respectively. Among them, Hteekhee performed the most extensive trade in border trade with Thailand, followed by Myawady. Nevertheless, the surge in coronavirus cases in Myanmar led Thailand to close the border areas. Consequently, the trade via land border sharply fell in the current FY 2020-2021. 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. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar