The trade between Myanmar and China through Muse border ground to a halt as China tightened the border security and made policy changes in light of the COVID-19. China temporarily shut down Mang Wein and Chinshwehaw checkpoints in early April. Myanmar’s Muse border trade came to a standstill following the closure of the Mang Wein border checkpoint triggered by the detection of the coronavirus cases in the border area, according to the Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. On 29 March, one Myanmar citizen who tested positive for COVID-19 was found in Kyalgaung gems stone market.
It prompted China to restrict border access at the Mang Wein checkpoint, a major border crossing between Muse and Kyalgaung areas. Consequently, there is no trade flowing in and out of the country via the Muse-Mang Wein border. Furthermore, trade through the Kyinsankyawt border, a major checkpoint for fruit exports, is down by 80 per cent, said the traders. The closure of the Mang Wein checkpoint wreaked havoc on the Muse trade. The trade value through Muse land border plummeted to US$2.529 billion between 1 October and 16 April in the current financial year 2020-2021 from $2.738 billion recorded in the corresponding period of last FY, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed. Suspension in border trade caused a negative impact on perishable fruits.
The policy changes in China’s border exacerbated Myanmar’s exports amid the COVID-19 resurgences, said a Muse trader. Prior to the Mang Wein checkpoint closure, Myanmar daily sent about 2,000 tonnes of rice and 40,000 tonnes of broken rice bags to China. At present, Myanmar’s rice export to China through the Muse land border has stalled amidst the coronavirus concerns. This Mang Wein post plays a pivotal role in trading between Myanmar and China. Myanmar exports rice, broken rice, onion, chilli pepper, pulses and beans, food commodities and fishery products to China. In contrast, electrical appliance, equipment, medical device, household goods, construction materials and food products are imported in the country via Mang Wein. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 500 trucks were daily flowing in and out of the Myanmar-China border Mang Wein.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar