Friday, August 18, 2017

No imports through Maungdaw border

Maungdaw border trade in Rakhine State has resumed but imports from Bangladesh have yet to come in, Maungdaw Border Trade Chamber of Commerce president U Aung Myint Thein told The Myanmar Times.

Border trade between Myanmar and Bangladesh at the Maungdaw border gate can provide large support for Myanmar’s exports as 90 percent of the border-cross trading are Myanmar exports while 10pc are imports from Bangladesh.

“No import has entered at all. It seems the 10pc of traders from Bangladesh are still waiting for security…

“Bangladesh traders are worried that they will lose money that Myanmar traders owe due to problems [that] broke out in the country,” he said.

Bangladesh is one of Myanmar’s main border-trade partner and Maungdaw border point is an important trade channel between the two. 

The Maungdaw border gate was suspended twice last year in October, after headquarters of the border guard and two police posts in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships in northern Rakhine State were attacked.

Local traders said the closure of the border gate incurred losses as they could not make exports during the period.

Since April 2017, the situation around the border has stabilised. However, there are only exports coming from Myanmar through the border gate and there are no imports from Bangladesh yet.

According to the Ministry of Commerce’s figures, trade between Myanmar and Bangladesh at the Maungdaw border trading point was worth US$1.68 million from the beginning of the fiscal year – April 1 to May 16 – but this was only from exports. In same period last year, export was roughly $712,000.

Myanmar exports fish to Bangladesh through the gate. For April and May, export has been higher than expected and Myanmar’s first rice export to Bangladesh was launched this month.

Bangladesh’s most common imports are garment-related products and kitchen appliances, so that there is no harm to Myanmar if there are no imports from Bangladesh, said U Aung Myint Thein.