Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Smuggling between Myanmar, Thailand worth as much as official trade

May 23, 2017
THERE is a large difference between the official border trade statistics released by Myanmar and Thailand, a disparity that could be explained by the smuggling business between the two countries, which is worth as much or more as official trade, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

According to Myanmar, bilateral trade via the Myawady border gate was over US$928 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, while Thailand’s official figures showed that the bilateral trade hit $2.44 billion—a difference of about $1.5 billion.

The difference in the declared amounts may be referred to as the “smuggling amount”, said an official from the Myawady Trade Zone, adding that there may be as many as 25 smuggling routes across the Thaungyin River, the border between the Thai province of Tak and Kayin State.

Traders sometimes use the illegal routes because they cannot wait a long time to conduct export and import of goods through the normal border gate, traders say.

Informal trade in the region involves illegal transactions of restricted goods such as cattle and gems, according to U Thant Zin Aung, an MP from Myawady Constituency No. 2 of Kayin State, saying that the problem has already been reported to the relevant departments.

The majority of imports from Thailand are food, beverages, electronics, agricultural machinery and home appliances, while exports from Myanmar include agricultural and marine products.

Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar

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