Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 8 January in the current financial year 2020-2021 touched a low of US$8.23 billion, a sharp drop of $2.437 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, trade stood at $8.2 billion. Over the Q1, Myanmar’s export was worth over $4 billion, which plunged from $5.16 billion registered a year-ago period.
Meanwhile, the country’s import was valued $4.228 billion, showing a decrease of $1.27 billion compared with the last FY. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened border security and limited the trading time to contain the spread of the virus. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates to almost triple in Myanmar, causing delays for traders. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods while importing 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 at US$16 billion and import at $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.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar