Maywady border trade in the slumps

Ko Shwe Thein
A Myawady border trade route.


From April 1 to August 24 during this fiscal year, the total trade volume at Myawady border in Kayin State amounted to US$ 320.783 million, down US$ 8.643 million compared with the same period last year, according to the Commerce Ministry.

The decline in the border trade is linked to the facts that 13-ton trucks have been jammed for 20 days at the approach road of Gyaing-Pontun Bridge on the Myawady border trade route due to floods and Gyaing-Eaindu road section is badly damaged, said merchants.

Until August 24 of this fiscal year, Myanmar exported goods worth US$ 31.488 million to Thailand, up US$ 11.09 million compared with the same period last year. In addition, Myanmar imported goods worth US$ 289.95 million from Thailand, down US$ 19.736 million compared with the same period last year.

Border trade volume exceeded the target for the first six months. After the opening of No.2 Friendship Bridge, the trade between the two countries will increase twofold, according the Commerce Ministry, said Yan Naing Tun told the media after the Myanmar-Thailand Border Trade Joint Committee Meeting.

An agreement was reached on official exports of new items such as sheep, goat, cow and buffalos from Myanmar and the smooth operations of export processes, Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) for plants and plant products from Thailand and laboratory tests for rice and groundnut imported from Myanmar, at Mae Sot, at the two-day joint committee meeting in Myawady.

Myawady is the second-largest border trade camp in Myanmar. Myanmar imported more LPG, diesel, gas-o-line, edible oil, motorbike, foodstuff, cosmetics, CI sheets, cement, construction materials, plants and fruits.

Vehicle imports are relatively low due to the changes to vehicle import policy in 2017-2018 fiscal policy and tax rates. Myanmar regularly imports agricultural equipments and other machineries. The border region sees illegal imports of chicken meats, pork, prawn, beers, alcohol, second-hand cars, according to locals.