Trade deficit expected to reach just about $500 m in coming fiscal year

Phyo Wai
Cargo trucks from Thailand seen entering Myanmar through Myawady Friendship Bridge (Photo-Shwe Thein)

Myanmar's trade deficit is expected to reach only about USS$500 million in coming 2018-2019 fiscal year because trade deficit declines year by year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Foreign trade value is also expected to reach US$31.1 billion in that year.

In the 2017-2018 FY, international trade value was expected to reach US$29 billion – US$14 billion in export and US$15 billion in import. Meanwhile, trade deficit was expected to reach about US$1 billion.

According to official yearly trade data, Myanmar's trade value amounted to US$11,137 million in export and US$16,578 million in import and US$5,441 million in deficit in 2015-2016 FY.

Under the incumbent National League for Democracy government, traded amounted to US$11,999 million in export and US$17,211 million in import and US$5,212 million in deficit in 2016-2017 FY; and US$14,851 million in export and US$18,687 million in import and US$3,836 million in deficit in 2017-2018 FY.

"Most people know that trade deficit occurs as import exceeds export. This is also pointed out by businesspeople. We can reduce trade deficit by boosting export. Reviewing the situation, ever goods produced by Myanmar is mostly saleable. Now, we have potential to improve export thanks to cooperation of traders and the efforts of the government," said Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint.

The NLD government has voiced its efforts to triple the country's exportation. However, the Commerce Ministry has been able to boost export little and reduce trade deficit little. Trade deficit was set to reach only US$1 billion in 2017-2018 FY. But it reached US$3.83 billion.

In the current six-month mini budget year also, foreign trade value and trade deficit were expected to reach US$14,700 million and US$190 million respectively. Figures released up to August 3 show that there were US$5,693 million in export, US$6,647 million in import and US$954 million in deficit.