Myanmar-Thai bilateral trade up over 50 percent in 2006-07

Bilateral trade between Myanmar and Thailand increased by about 51 percent to 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in the just-ended fiscal year of 2006-07 (April-March) compared with the previous fiscal year, the local English-language Myanmar Times reported Monday.

With Myanmar enjoying a trade surplus of 1.9 billion dollars, the Myanmar-Thai bilateral trade accounted for 30 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade, the weekly quoted an official of the Ministry of Commerce as saying.

Thailand remained as Myanmar's top trading partner for 2006-07, in which Myanmar's foreign trade reached 7.4 billion dollars, the report added.

In the fiscal year 2005-06, Myanmar-Thai bilateral trade, which includes the border trade, amounted to 1.596 billion dollars with Myanmar's import from Thailand taking up 237 million dollars and its export to Thailand representing 1.359 billion dollars, according to official figures.

Meanwhile, Myanmar is building a border trade zone in Myawaddy, which links Thailand's Maesot, as part of its process of transforming border trade system into normal trade one. The Myawaddy border trade zone stands as the second largest one of its kind after the Muse 105th Mile Border Trade Zone bordering China's Ruili in Yunnan province

Besides, Myanmar absorbed the highest annual contracted foreign investment of 6.065 billion U.S. dollars in 2005-06 fiscal year which mainly came from Thailand with 6.03 billion dollars in a major power project which was referred to the 7,110-megawatt Tar- hsan hydropower project on the Thanlwin River in eastern Shan state's Tachilek.

The Thai investment prompted Myanmar's contracted foreign investment to hit 14.4 billion U.S. dollars in 19 years as of March 2007 since the country opened to such investment in late 1988, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.

Source: Xinhua

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