Trade deficit declines in 2017-18 FY

Soe Min Htike, Sithu


In 2017-2018 fiscal year, the country’s total export value reached US$ 15 billion and the trade deficit has declined in comparison with figures from 2016-2017 FY, said Union Minister for Industry Khin Maung Cho.

At the regular session of Union parliament in Nay Pyi Taw on September 10, Union Minister for Industry Khin Maung Cho responded to the discussion about the Joint Public Account Committee’s finding report over the Union Auditor-General’s report for 2016-2017 FY and MPs’ discussions.

“Efforts are being made to promote exports through the extension of new export items, new markets and export volume. The export value increased from US$ 12 billion in 2016-2017 FY to US$ 15 billion in 2017-2018 FY. The trade deficit dropped from US$ 5.2 billion in 2016-2017 FY to US$ 3.8 billion in 2017-2018 FY,” the minister said.

With sweeping reforms put in place since 2011, the government has been carrying out trade relaxations, the central bank’s green light for a free flow of foreign currencies, more imports of capital goods, other materials and machineries for the State projects, the implementation of special economic zone projects. According to imports for foreign investments and free imports for development of private sector, unbalanced trade ratios occur. Imports have exceeded exports. Since 2012-2013 FY, the country has seen trade deficits, he added.

The government has to invite foreign investments for the country’s infrastructural development. Like other developing countries, the expansion of import sector will continue as the country has to import necessary goods for foreign investments. Special economic zones can extend exports and make import-substitutions, he continued.

The Ministry of industry is included in the normal trade account for goods and services. The country can reduce trade deficits by taking account of services such as tourism revenues, overflight fee, airport parking, jet fuel filling, jetty fee, flight tickets from foreign travellers and income from overseas employments.