Exports for first quarter up $260m year-on-year
INTERNATIONAL trade in the first quarter of the financial year was up over US$350 million compared to the same period in 2015, with export growth driving most of the increase, according to Ministry of Commerce statistics.
Exports over the first quarter – also the first three months under the National League for Democracy government – were up $261.7 million yearon-year.
The rest of the jump in trade came from a $95.2 million rise in imports.
Rising exports help reduce Myanmar’s trade deficit and improve foreign reserves, said U Hla Maung, a former director of the Ministry of Commerce and now an economic adviser to several companies.
Ministry statistics show total international trade of $5.9 billion in the first quarter of 2016-17, compared with $5.54 billion in the first quarter of the previous financial year. Total first-quarter exports were $2.48 billion, up from $2.21 billion. First-quarter imports hit $3.42 billion, up from $3.33 billion.
With export growth outpacing the rise in imports Myanmar enjoyed a modest reduction in its trade deficit for the first quarter – the deficit was $945.7 million compared to $1.11 billion in the first quarter of 2015-16.
Myanmar’s main exports include fish, animal, agricultural and forest products. Mining and finished machinery also important sectors, although their share of exports has been declining.
‘Rising exports help reduce Myanmar’s trade deficit.’
U Hla Maung Private sector economic adviser