Myanmar to open second largest border trade zone

One more border trade zone in Myanmar's Myawaddy along the Myanmar-Thailand border will be opened later this year, the local Myanmar Times reported Monday.

The Myawaddy border trade zone in southeastern Kayin state will be the second largest of its kind after Muse trade zone along the Myanmar-China border, which is also expected to be inaugurated soon.

Thailand stands as Myanmar's largest trading partner, taking up about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars or 38 percent of Myanmar's 4.9 billion dollars' foreign trade in the 2004-05 fiscal year. Border trade accounted for about 70 percent of the bilateral trade between the two countries.

According to the Thai embassy here, bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to rise 20 percent in 2005 compared with 2004.

Meanwhile, border trade officials said that one-stop service will be introduced in the 150-hectare Muse border trade zone, also known as the 105 Mile Zone linking China's Ruili in Yunnan province, and transformation from the border trade system to normal trade system is being strived.

Observers here said that once the two border trade zones are established, Myanmar's bilateral trade with Thailand and China will be further enhanced.

According to Chinese official figures, Sino-Myanmar bilateral trade reached 1.209 billion U.S. dollars in 2005, up 5.6 percent from 2004. Of the total, China's exports to Myanmar took 935 million dollars, while its imports from Myanmar stood at 274 million.

Statistics also show that trade between China's Yunnan province and Myanmar, including the border trade, amounted to 630 million dollars in 2005, up 14.6 percent over the previous year.

Source: Xinhua



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