Myanmar and Thailand, a top neighbouring trade partner among ASEAN, hit bilateral trade worth US$2 billion in the first five months (Oct-Feb) of the current financial year 2020- 2021, indicated the statistics issued by the Central Statistical Organization of the Ministry of Planning and Finance. The ministry reported exports surpassed imports in trade with Thailand, with exports reaching over $1.2 billion and imports valued at over $791.5 million. Thailand has been Myanmar’s largest trade partner among the ASEAN, followed by Singapore and Malaysia.
Thailand accounted for 18.48 per cent of total trade in 2016-2017FY with an estimated trade value of US$4.6 billion, 19.17 per cent in 2017-2018FY with a trade value of $5.57 billion, 40.38 per cent in 2018- 2019FY with $5.46 billion and over 40 per cent in 2019-2020FY with $5.117 billion, respectively. Exports of natural gas from the Taninthayi Region has contributed to the enormous increase in border trade with Thailand in the previous years. Last year, corn exports to Thailand rose significantly as well, 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 Thailand through Tachilek, Myawady, Myeik, Mawtaung, Hteekhee, Kawthoung and Meisei border areas, respectively. Among them, Myawady performed the largest trade in border trade with Thailand, followed by Hteekhee. Nevertheless, the border trade is sluggish for now amid the coronavirus resurgences. 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