The Maungtaw District’s Ministry of Commerce said the value of exports to Bangladesh in May reached over US$1.076 million, with virtually no imports from Bangladesh.
U Aung San Thein, the Vice Chariman of the Maungtaw Merchants Association, said that these days Maungtaw exports hilsa fish, rice, ginger, dried fish and other edible products.
Maungtaw’s exports make up 90 per cent of the border trade, with imports from Bangladesh consisting only of aluminum pots and pans and water tokens.
The Maungtaw Border Trade Group said normally Maungtaw exports saltwater prawn, dried fish and bamboo, among other commodities, while cement, aluminum pots and pans and clothing products are imported from Bangladesh.
A local resident from Maungtaw said trade with Bangladesh is not the same with other neighbouring countries. Thailand and China have a high amount of imports into Myanmar. Bangladesh’s business is mainly in textile production, so they have low import rates. In the 2015-2016 financial year, imports from Bangladesh reached only US$60,000.
Another local resident said border trade is conducted based on trust between merchants. Payment is made only after the merchandise has been sold.
Imports from Bangladesh mainly arrive through Sittway and Maungtaw in Rakhine State. Among the two, Maungtaw is the primary trade route with Bangladesh.
According to the Maungtaw Trade outpost, trade with Bangladesh during the 2014-2015 financial year reached US$7.7 million in exports and US$106,000 in imports. In the 2015-2016 financial year exports reached US$5.4 million and imports reached US$66,000. In the 2016-2017 financial year exports reached US$2.9 million and imports reached US$27,000.
To improve border trade with Bangladesh, a trade zone is being constructed near Kanyin Creek in Maungtaw with the Rakhine State Government allotting Ks600million and private companies putting in Ks400million into the project. A main building, a warehouse, a jetty and several office buildings have finished construction.
Min Thit (MNA)