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Myanmar’s foreign trade soars to $5.5 bln over past two months

MYANMAR’s external trade between 1 April and 3 June of the 2022-2023 Financial Year tremendously rose to US$5.5 billion, reflecting a sharp increase of $546 million as against the year-ago period, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The figures surged from $4.96 billion in the corresponding period last year. Myanmar’s export was worth over $2.65 billion whereas the country’s import was valued at $2.85 billion over the past two months.

The border trade dropped owing to transportation difficulties amid the COVID policy and political changes, with a decrease of $542 million as against the year-ago period. However, the maritime trade registered a significant rise of $1.08 billion during the April-May period. 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 Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing the trade deficit, export promotion, import substitution and market diversification. The external trade stood at $15.5 billion in the past mini-budget 2021-2022 (October-March) period and $29.58 billion in the 2020-2021FY, as per the Commerce Ministry’s statistics.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Manufacturing sector only source of FDI in past two months

Foreign direct investments were pumped into the manufacturing sector only in the past two months (April-May) of the 2022-2023 financial year, as per the statistics released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Seven enterprises from China, Hong Kong SAR and Japan put estimated capital of US$13 million into the manufacturing sector in the past two months. The existing enterprises from China (Taipei) also increased $2 million in investments in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing enterprises and businesses that need a large labour force are prioritized to create job opportunities for the local community, according to the Myanmar Investment Commission. Although some labour-intensive enterprises faced financial hardship amid the COVID-19 negative impacts and the political changes, the industry is now returning to normal after the COVID-19 vaccination program for the workers, as per the I HS Markit’s September report.

In a bid to boost factory productivity with a healthy and nutritious workforce in the garment industry, Mobile Medical Check to garment workers took place from 9 to 13 May 2022 in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, supported by UNICEF Myanmar. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garments and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packing basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. Myanmar has drawn foreign direct investment of more than $647.127 million from 49 enterprises in the past mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022). Of them, 40 foreign enterprises put investments in the manufacturing sector, pumping the estimated capital of $202.667 million. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar