Tue 19 Dec 2006
Filed under: Business / Trade,News
Muse: A Myanmar-China border trade exhibition involving three other neighboring countries of Thailand, India and Bangladesh opened on Monday in Myanmar’s border trade zone of Muse linking China’s Ruili.
It is the first time for an annual Myanmar-China border trade fair to be participated by other neighboring countries.
The three-day Myanmar-China border trade exhibition, which runs from Monday to Wednesday, comprises over 200 booths set up on a 1.2-hectare land plot.
During the border trade exhibition, a joint committee meeting for Myanmar-China border trade, a coordination meeting on economic affairs, a signing ceremony on trade and a talk on rules and regulations of investment at the Muse trade zone will also be attached.
Since 2001, Myanmar-China border trade exhibitions have been held annually and alternately in Muse and Ruili and the last event was in Ruili in December 2005.
Myanmar has been taking a series of measures to boost border trade with neighboring countries, establishing the 150-hectare Muse border trade zone, the first largest of its kind in the country, and transforming its border trade with China into normal trade as an initial step for the move since early 2005.
Myanmar has a total of 13 main border trade points with its four neighbors, namely Muse, Lwejei, Laizar, Chinshwehaw and Kambaiti established with China since 1998, Tachilek, Kawthoung, Myawaddy and Myeik with Thailand since 1996, Tamu and Reedkhawdhar with India since 1995 and Maungtaw and Sittway with Bangladesh also since 1995.
In the second half of this year, as part of its bid in the move, Myanmar liberalized some trade procedures dealing with the border trade carried out in the Muse trade zone with China to facilitate exporters and boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
The liberalization was made in line with the norms prescribed by the World Trade Organization so as to reduce the hindrance of red tape and smooth the regional flow of commodities, according to the Directorate of Trade under the Commerce Ministry.
Government statistics indicate that daily trade volume in Muse ranges between 500,000 U.S. dollars and one million dollars with 505 million dollars being registered in the fiscal year of 2005-06 and 207 million dollars in the first quarter of 2006-07. It is predicted that the total trade volume in 2006-07 will be higher than the previous year.
According to Chinese official statistics, China-Myanmar bilateral trade hit 1.209 billion dollars in 2005, up 5.6 percent from 2004. Of the total, China’s exports to Myanmar took 935 million dollars, while its import from Myanmar stood 274 million dollars.
Of the bilateral trade, trade between China’s Yunnan province and Myanmar, including the border trade, amounted to 630 million dollars during the year, up 14.6 percent from the previous year. Yunnan’s exports to Myanmar represented 400 million dollars, while its import from Myanmar was valued at 230 million dollars.
A latest figures of the Chinese Customs Department indicated that China-Myanmar bilateral trade in the first half of 2006 amounted to 662 million dollars, a 10.8-percent rise compared with the same period of 2005. Of the total, China’s export to Myanmar took 549 million dollars, up 30.5 percent, while China’s import from Myanmar 114 million dollars, down 35.9 percent. China realized a trade surplus of 434 million dollars.
Myanmar official figures also revealed that the border trade volume of Myanmar and China transacting at the Muse trade point amounted to 311 million U.S. dollars in the first half of 2006, up correspondingly from 257 million dollars in 2005.
The two countries have set a target for their annual bilateral trade to increase to 1.5 billion dollars.