Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 7 May in the current financial year 2020- 2021 plummeted to US$18.08 billion, a sharp drop of 5.34 billion compared with the corresponding period of the FY2019-2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce. According to data released by the ministry during the same period in the previous FY, the trade stood at $23.4 billion. Over the past seven months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $8.97 billion, which plunged from $11.23 billion registered a year-ago period. Meanwhile, the country’s import was valued at $9.1 billion, showing a significant decrease of $3.07 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 limited the trading time to contain the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the current political conditions drag down the trade. At present, the traders have transaction problem triggered by the restriction of the private banks, a market observer shared his opinion. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods. At the same time, 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.
Under the National Planning Law for the Financial Year 2020-2021, Myanmar intends to reach an export target of US$16 billion and import of $18 billion. 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