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Myanmar foreign trade sees drastic drop this FY

Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 17 September in the current financial year 2020-2021 sank 21 per cent as against the year-ago period, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed. The country’s foreign trade exceeded US$28 billion over ten and a half months, whereas the international trade stood at over $35.75 billion in the corresponding period of last FY, according to the data released by the ministry. During the past ten months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $14 billion whereas, the country’s import was relatively low at $14.1 billion.

Both maritime trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and the border posts came to an abrupt stop amid the COVID-19 surging in Myanmar. 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 much on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. However, the suspended trade in the border checkpoints and the order cancellation from the western countries amid the political changes exacerbate the export sector for now. The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing the trade deficit, export promotion and market diversification. 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

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