By May Thet Hnin
Border trade income at Kawthoung gate between Thai and Myanmar as of 10th November in current FY is US$38 million more than similar period of last FY, according to the statistics of Commerce Ministry.
Between 1st April and 10th November this FY, export income via Kawthoung was over $61 million whereas import fetched $39 million, totaling over $100 million. The figure is up by $38 million as Kawthoung border trade amounted to only $62 million, in the similar period of last FY.
Capital goods such as machinery and raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizer are primarily imported into the country. Myanmar’s main export item to Thailand via Kawthoung checkpoint is fisheries products.
In the similar point, Myawady, which performs the largest border trade with Thailand, shows decrease of $28 million compared to last FY.
“Currently, trade value meets expected trade revenue at Kawthoung gate, despite reduction in expected value. Trade earnings is down by 30 per cent compared to last decade”, said U Khin Maung Gyi, a responsible person from the Chambers of Commerce of Kawthoung.
Importers have to go to Nay Pyi Taw in order to seek import permit for raw industrial goods, consuming time and money. Therefore, merchants wish to request the related ministry to open branch office in Kawthoung.
“Infrastructure like electricity plays a vital role in enhancing trade. Currently, we have to pay Ks280 per unit. Additionally, freights are carried to and from Ranoung with ships. This makes Kawthoung trade lag benind Myawady gate. If there is Kawthoung-Ranoung cross-border bridge, it will facilitate trade flow”, said U Khin Maung Gyi.
Currently, goods are transported from and to Ranoung with ships which can load 1,000 tons, taking about 20 days for shipping, said merchants from Kawthoung.