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Myanmar to adopt metric system

Myanmar is preparing to adopt the metric system or the International System of Units (SI System) as the country's official system of measurement, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

One of the reasons is to streamline the weight measuring process in exporting agricultural products such as rice, beans and maize for which various measurement systems have been widely applied, according to Dr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister for Commerce.

"In exporting rice and other agri-products, kilograms is the common measurement unit, but Myanmar has used FPS (foot-pound-second) and CGS (centimetre-gram-second) Systems in measuring goods. Therefore, initiatives will need to be launched to replace them with the SI System, and to achieve the widespread use of metric units among farmers, sellers and the whole country at large," said Dr. Pwint San.

The deputy minister discussed the subject in parliament after MP Aye Naing of Sinbaowel Constituency asked for legislating on measurement units according to international standards.

"Weight and other measurements as well as quality indices to be legislated under the law for standards should lead to a position convenient for international trading. Now there are opportunities for Myanmar to trade with European countries and the United States, and so the standards used in our country should match with those used in the others," he added.

The deputy minister also pointed out the clumsiness of using different measurement systems. Unnecessary costs and delays also occur when weights have to be re-measured, and goods have to be re-packaged; especially when trading with countries who do not accept certain measurements.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Technology has been tasked with announcing the metric system as the official measurement system of Myanmar.

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