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Myanmar-Thailand border trade down by $360 mln as of 12 March

THE value of Myanmar’s bilateral trade with the neighbouring country Thailand through the land border has registered a decrease of US$360 million between 1 October and 12 March of the current financial year 2020-2021 as against a year-ago period, the statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce indicated. The ministry reported that exports surpassed imports in trade with Thailand this year, with exports reaching over $1 billion and imports valued at over $538.5 million, totalling $1.57 billion. During the corresponding period of the past FY2019-2020, Myanmar-Thailand border trade touched a high of $1.9 billion. Following some traders tested positive for COVID-19, some border posts were temporarily halted last year.

At present, fruits and agricultural products such as cucumber, mango, tomato and vegetable, fishery products, building materials and other pharmaceutical-related goods and equipment can be traded. Myanmar-Thailand friendship bridge No. 2 is also open for trading. The halt in trading undoubtedly harmed the traders and truck drivers from both sides, said a trader from Myawady. During the last FY, Myanmar has increasingly exported corns to Thailand through the Myawady border. Myanmar’s corn exports to Thailand significantly soared to over 1.2 million tonnes through border posts between Myanmar and Thailand during October and May period in the 2019-2020FY, an official of the Ministry of Commerce said.

At present, Myanmar exports the corn to Thailand through Myawady and Tachilek land border. About 5,000-6,000 tonnes of corn are daily sent to Thailand through Myawady, while the Tachilek border does not regularly export. Myanmar is allowed for corn export between 1 February and 31 August with Form-D, under zero tariff. Thailand imposed 73 per cent of tax on corn import to protect their growers’ rights if the corns are imported during the corn season of Thailand, following the notification of the World Trade Organization regarding corn import of Thailand, said a corn exporter. Myanmar intends to reach an export target of one million tonnes of corns to Thailand this year, said U Min Khaing, chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association.

Additionally, exports of natural gas from the Taninthayi Region has contributed to the enormous increase in border trade with Thailand in the previous years. This year, gas exports via the Hteekhee border drastically fell. There are seven border posts between Myanmar and Thailand, Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Hteekhee, Myeik, Mawtaung and Maese. Except for Tachilek and Myawady, the remaining border posts showed a decrease in the trade this FY. The value of border trade stood at $162.4 million via Tachilek, $600.5 million via Myawady, $170 million via Kawthoung, $63.6 million via Myeik, $502.24 million via Hteekhee and $7.2 million via Mawtaung. Maese border post has not witnessed any trade yet. Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighbouring country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Announcement on Extension of the Precautionary Restriction Measures Relating to Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic until 30 April 2021

  1. With a view to the further strengthening of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has issued the following announcements regarding temporary entry restrictions for visitors from all countries. All those restrictions were extended until 31 March 2021 by the Ministry’s announcement dated 26 February 2021.
    (a) Announcement dated 15 March 2020 regarding precautionary measures for all travellers visiting Myanmar;
    (b) Announcement dated 20 March 2020 regarding additional precautionary measures for travellers visiting Myanmar and temporary suspension of issuance of visa on Arrival and e-visa;
    (c) Announcement dated 24 March 2020 regarding additional precautionary measures for travellers from all countries visiting Myanmar;
    (d) Announcement dated 28 March 2020 regarding temporary suspension of all types of visas (including social visit visas) and visa exemption services.
  2. In order to continue its effective response measures to protect the population of the country from the risks of importation and spread of the COVID-19, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has decided to extend the afore-mentioned entry restriction measures until 30 April 2021.
  3. In case of urgent official missions or compelling reasons, foreign nationals, including diplomats and United Nations officials, who wish to travel to Myanmar by available relief or special flights, may contact the nearest Myanmar Mission for possible exception with regard to certain visa restrictions. However, all visitors must abide by existing directives issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports relating to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Nay Pyi Taw
    Dated. 31 March 2021

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar