Border Trade Down After China Restricts Imports From Burma

Burma experienced a loss of revenue of US $480m from exports to China during last fiscal year.

By Network Media Group

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Trade on the Sinoburma border have dropped this last fiscal year after China clamped down on what it considered illegal imports from Burma while imports from China to Burma have remained unaffected, say border officials.

U Tin Ye Win, director general of the 105-mile trading zone in Muse, told NMG that Burma has experienced a loss of revenue of US $480m from exports to China from April 2018 to February 2019.

China has implemented a policy restricting products exported from Burma since last October, he explained.

“They have blocked all illegal products…As a result, trading has declined.”

Sao San Mueng, CEC of Muse-Namkham Border Trading Association, said much of the trade to China that is being obstructed is not illegal goods.

“We’re exporting legal products but they don’t recognize it,” he said.

Much of the goods exported from Burma are agriculture, aquaculture and timber.

Sai Tun Ko Ko, joint secretary of Muse-Namkham Border Trading Association, said China is blocking cattle, rice, corn and sugar exports.

“We are in negotiations for legally exporting cattle (to China).”

Manufactured products like cloth, electrical, industrial and machinery and parts are China’s top imports to Burma, Sai Tun Ko Ko said.

Meanwhile, negotiations with China to lift trade restrictions on imports froBurma are going nowhere, Tin Ye Win said.

“When we are in discussions with (China border trade officials) they tell us they’re only restricting illegal trade to their country. I don’t know what to tell them. Although they have the right to restrict illegal trading, the Chinese government has never recognized (many of) our products as legal imports.”

Burmese border officials and exporters want the Burmese government to meet with the Chinese government as soon as possible to resolve Burma’s border conundrum

Burma has many official border trading points with China. Over sixty-five percent of the country’s cross-border trade is in Muse.