Myanmar Marine Producers and Exporter Association has urged the government to negotiate with the Saudi government in allowing normal trade as Saudi Arabia has issued a statement announcing the suspension of import of Myanmar's fish and prawn effective from April 1, according to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The demand was made by association secretary Myo Nyunt during the 15th regular meeting between Vice President Myint Swe and local businessmen.
Myo Nyunt said that Myanmar exported fish and prawn worth US$25 million or 35 million yearly to Saudi Arabia through direct trade route or through UAE.
According to the statement, Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) will suspend marine products from Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India beginning April 1 this year.
Figures from the Fisheries Department show that the amount of fish and prawn exported by Myanmar is far less than that of the neighbouring countries, suggesting that in promoting marine export, breeding system needs to improve rather than natural catching.
"Up to January we exported 438,000 metric tons of marine products earning US$569 million. When the fiscal year ends, the amount is expected to reach nearly US$700 million. Among them are 13,213 metric tons of prawn," said Tun Win Myint, director of Yangon Region Fisheries Department.
During the business meeting with the vice president, Union Minister for Planning and Finance Kyaw Win said plans were underway to disburse loans to breeders so as to improve the country's livestock breeding sector.
Currently, Myanmar yearly earns US$650 million to 700 million from exporting marine products including fish and prawn.