Tamu border still close amid COVID-19 impacts

Kalay-Tamu border between Myanmar and India has not lifted its restriction yet amid the coronavirus impacts, said Chairperson U Hla Maung of Kalay-Tamu Border Chamber of Commerce. The cross-border trade between Myanmar and India has stopped since 10 March 2020. The Tamu border trade was supposed to resume in January, and however, in fact, it is still not back to normal due to the travel difficulties caused by the pandemic. The reopening of the border post would depend on the spread of the virus, and border crossing will be allowed in line with health guidelines.

Myanmar conducts border trade with neighbouring India through Tamu, Reed, and Htantlang land border crossings. Border trade via Tamu is estimated at US$60 million per year. India closed the border checkpoints in Mizoram and Manipur on account of COVID-19, and traders were reeling under the outbreak’s negative impact. Now, the exports through Reed border dramatically soared despite the slump in Tamu border trade. Between 1 October and 22 January in the current financial year, trade values were registered at over $19.44 million at Tamu post and $73.897 million at Reed.

There was no trade recorded at the Htantlang border. According to data, over the past three and half months since October, the India-Myanmar trade jumped to $93.337 million from $44.98 million recorded in the year-ago period on account of a strong export figure at Reed post released by the Ministry of Commerce. Myanmar exports mung beans, pigeon peas, green grams, areca nuts, ginger, saffron, turmeric, bay leaves, fishery products, fruits, and vegetables to India. At the same time, it imports pharmaceuticals, oil cakes, electronic appliances, motorbikes, steel and other construction machines and building materials from the neighbouring country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar to export 800 tonnes of honey to EU market this year

Myanmar is preparing for 800 tonnes of honey export to the European Union market in the current financial year 2021-2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce. EU traders proposed Myanmar’s honey due to its organic production. Myanmar started to adopt Good Beekeeping Practices (GBP) in 2016. The EU gave the go-ahead to Myanmar’s honey to penetrate its market. Arise Plus Myanmar Trade-Related Assistance project implemented by the International Trade Centre and the Department of Consumer Affairs Department under the Ministry of Commerce are contributing to the sustainable growth of the honey market, suggestions to penetrate EU market and implementation of GBP, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

The project covers eight honey purifying factories and provides the know-how of food safety systems. Additionally, it also helps improve manufacturing quality control in production stages, ensure the honey is free from pests, pesticide and chemical residues, improve GMP in a value-adding chain, link with international buyers and upgrading the laboratory with the assistance of EU. Myanmar’s honey is exported annually to the United States, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan. The beekeeping business could help reduce the poverty rate in rural areas by creating more job opportunities, officials said. There are over 900 registered beekeepers in Myanmar.

The country produces over 7,000 tonnes a year and yearly ships 30,000 tonnes to foreign markets. A tonne of honey fetches US$1,700-1,900, said the beekeepers. Myanmar’s honey is required to be extracted by the European honey bee (Apis.mellifera) for exports to the EU. It is sent to both domestic laboratory and international laboratories to test pesticide and chemical residue if needed. Myanmar has nine processing factories in Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Yangon and Sagaing regions and Shan State. Of them, a state-owned factory is offering purifying and packaging service for the small-scale honey traders, and the remaining eight factories are processing honey for the domestic market as well as exports. Myanmar produced 10,875.81 tonnes of honey during the past three financial years from 2013- 2014 to 2015-2016, of which 8,471.24 tonnes were exported.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar