THE border trade through Myawady between Myanmar and Thailand climbed up to US$600.5 million between 1 October and 12 March in the current financial year 2020-2021, reflecting an increase of $50.8 million as against a year-ago period. The trade through the Myawady border stood at $549.7 million in the corresponding period of the last FY 2019-2020. Myawady-Maesot border trade has remained mal, although Thailand ordered restrictions in Maesot, according to the Myawady Chamber of Commerce. Myawady border trade did not halt owing to the restriction orders by Thailand. Myanmar trucks cannot enter Maesot, but trucks from Thailand come and pick up the goods at Myawady post, the chamber stated. They experienced trade suspension via Myawady in October 2020.
The halt in trading undoubtedly harms the traders and truck drivers from both sides. It is good that trade does not stop at present, said a trader from Myawady. At present, the Myawady border does not have trade barriers except transaction problem triggered by the shutdown of the private banks, said the chair of Myanmar Corn Industrial Association. Trade is regularly flowing in and out of the country. What a problem is that we cannot claim income through a legitimate financial market during the meantime. Now, the trade is carried out through hundi operators. The closure of formal financial markets except the state-owned banks render the cash flow difficulties. Hundi business is weak to protect transactions and less secure. Additionally, they charge too much for services. Myanmar is currently shipping about 5,000-6,000 tonnes of corns to Thailand through the Myawady border every day.
Myanmar is allowed for corn export between 1 February and 31 August with Form-D, under zero tariff. Myanmar corn exports were exempted from tax between February and August. Thailand imposed a 73-per-cent tax on corn import to protect their growers’ rights if the corns are imported during the corn season of Thailand, as per the notification of the World Trade Organization regarding corn import of Thailand. The border trade between Thailand and Myanmar between 1 October and 12 March in the current FY plunged to US$1.57 billion from $1.9 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. During the last year, Myanmar has increasingly exported corns to Thailand through the Myawady border gate.
Myanmar’s corn exports to Thailand significantly soared to over 1.2 million tonnes through border gates between Myanmar and Thailand during October and May period in the 2019-2020FY, an official of the Ministry of Commerce said. There are seven border posts between Myanmar and Thailand, Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Htikhee, Myeik, Mawtaung and Maese. The majority of the border trade with Thailand is conducted via Myawady. Myanmar primarily exports corn, natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighbouring country.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar