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Monthly Journal


Pau Sian Kam

Myanmar is an agricultural country and it mainly contributes to GDP. Agriculture is the major source of food and raw material for Agri - based industries. Various, crops such as rice, pulses and beans, maize and other cereals, sesame, rubber, coffee, tea, sugarcane, jute, wheat, cotton, pepper, oil palm, various kinds of herbs, fruits and vegetables, etc. are cultivated in Myanmar. Myanmar’s trade was about half with ASEAN countries, Japan, Singapore, and China are major partners. The country’s exports are mostly agricultural products. Foreign trade is under State control. This paper aims to review Myanmar cross border trade and to identify the bottleneck of trade promotion. It expects to explore the opportunity and overcomes the barrier to trade promotion and harmonization. Myanmar’s international trade can be classified into normal trade (oversea) and border trade. The value of trade volume, export and import are calculated by using the official data of the Ministry of Commerce, Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The trade balance highly deficit in Myanmar. The volume of import was twice larger than export. The total volume of trade in 2015 and 2016 has been normally the same amount which in 2017 increased distinctively. In 2018, the total trade volume has significantly fallen down. Export and import value are grossly underestimated due to the trade value of goods smuggled to Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and India. Myanmar has official and unofficial border trade points. Myanmar’s border trade was mainly dominated by China. Myanmar exported rice, fish, timber, beans, sesame, clothing, aquatic products, rubber, minerals and other goods to China. Myanmar imported machines, machine parts, electrical devices, electronic gadgets, chemicals, fertilizers, medicine, dairy products and other items from China. Myanmar trade balance is highly deficit due to low productivity in agriculture as well as low quality products. Myanmar agricultural products are exporting to other countries without processing, but raw materials which greatly reduces the volume of export. The import products from its neighboring countries are value-added products with high price. Myanmar can adjust its trade balance by improvement of production technology and the development of value-added products. Myanmar’s export agricultural products need to meet standard quality of its market. Myanmar and its bordering countries need to open all of their trade points officially so that they can eliminate illegal border trades. To avoid trade corruption due to imbalance demand and supply, facts and information exchange on consumers’ preference, market demand, potential of supply, and unexpected challenges is crucially important.


Myanmar cross - border trade analysis