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May 20, 2019

Eye on G-to-G pacts, MRF to register rice exporters

A farmhand scoops up sifted grains from a combine harvester in Kangyidauk, Ayeyawady. 
photo: Phoe Khwar

In order to expand the rice export market through government-to-government (G to G) agreements, the authorities will now require rice exporters in the country to register with the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
The MRF formed a committee for registering exporters on 1 March to find out the exact number of local rice exporting companies, as well as to know the volume of the companies’ exports.
“Currently, we are discussing the ways and means of ensuring the registration of rice exporting companies. We have already formed a registration committee with seven members. The committee will meet with exporters so that the registration can be conduct smoothly and conveniently,” said U Aung Than Oo, the vice chairman of the MRF.
On 28 February, experts, rice mill entrepreneurs, and members of the MRF’s management committee discussed conducting a survey to obtain information on the number of rice mills, their location, volume of rice ground per day, and the rate for grinding higher quality and lower quality rice.
Myanmar had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to export 500,000 tons of rice to Bangladesh in 2018, under a government-to-government deal. Without such an agreement in place, Myanmar could have exported only about 100,000 tons of rice to Bangladesh.
“Myanmar also plans to export rice to the Philippines, Indonesia, and China under G-to-G agreements. The Ministry of Commerce has asked the MRF to explore more export markets under the G-to-G system, and so, MRF will undertake this task, in collaboration with the Ministry,” said U Aung Than Oo.
Myanmar has exported only over 2 million tons of rice this year, a decline of 1.6 million tons compared with last year, when exports stood at 3.6 million tons.
With rice exports on the decline, the MRF has urged traders to export more rice and new summer paddy rice, said U Aung Than Oo.
The MRF is negotiating with China to get an export quota of 400,000 tons of rice this year. In 2016, Myanmar secured a quota of 100,000 tons for rice exports to China.

By Aye Yamone(Translated by Hay Mar)

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