Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 18 June in the current financial year 2020-2021 plummeted to US$21.48 billion, a sharp drop of 5.69 billion compared with the corresponding period of the FY2019-2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce. During the same period in the previous FY, the trade stood at $27 billion, according to data released by the ministry. Over the past eight and half months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $10.6 billion, which plunged from $12.8 billion registered a year-ago period. Meanwhile, the country’s import was valued $10.8 billion, showing a significant decrease of $3.5 billion compared with the last FY.
Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and limit the trading time to contain the spread of the virus. At present, the traders have transaction problems triggered by the restriction of the private banks. Furthermore, the pandemic triggered the cargo shipping crisis, a market observer shared his opinion. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, raw industrial materials, and consumer goods.
The country’s export sector relies more on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The government is trying to reduce the trade deficit by screening luxury import items and boosting exports. The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing the trade deficit, export promotion and market diversification. Since 2011, the Ministry of Commerce has adhered to its reform policy. A series of moves to liberalize and open the economy have been introduced through policy development to improve the trade environment. The external trade stood at $36.73 billion in the 2019-2020FY, $35.147 billion in the 2018-2019FY, $18.728 billion in the 2018 six-month interim period, $33.578 billion in the 2017-2018FY and $29.209 billion in the 2016-2017FY, respectively, as per the Commerce Ministry’s statistics.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar