More ex­ports le­galised

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - CHAN MYA HTWE chan­myahtwe@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

The gov­ern­ment will lift a ban on ex­port­ing crude oil, di­a­mond and gold ex­ports early next year, an of­fi­cial said, cut­ting the state list of re­stricted goods.

THE gov­ern­ment will lift re­stric­tions on ex­port­ing crude oil, di­a­monds and gold early next year, an of­fi­cial told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day, cut­ting the state list of re­stricted goods down to just four.

Ear­lier this year, the gov­ern­ment took five items off the list: niger seed and oil, mus­tard seed and oil, sun­flower seed and oil, oil cakes, and shrimp bran, which is used as an­i­mal feed.

Still on the list along with gold, di­a­monds and crude oil are cow, horse, buf­falo, ele­phant and other rare animals; weapons; an­tiq­ui­ties; and ivory.

Re­stric­tions will be lifted on gold, di­a­monds and crude af­ter dis­cus­sions with rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and busi­ness­peo­ple, said U Khin Maung Lwin, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary at the Min­istry of Com­merce.

These in­clude the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Resources and En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, Myan­mar Gold En­trepreneurs As­so­ci­a­tion, Myan­mar Fed­er­a­tion of Min­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, Myan­mar Gems and Jewellery En­trepreneurs As­so­ci­a­tion, the Cen­tral Bank and the cus­toms depart­ment.

“The min­istry will have to al­low im­ports along with grant­ing per­mits for ex­port. If a com­pany is al­lowed to im­port gold from abroad, it should be al­lowed to ex­port jewellery too,” he said.

“We have to set­tle a lot of is­sues, be­cause lo­cal gold min­ing com­pa­nies want to ex­port raw gold.”

He be­lieves com­pa­nies will be al­lowed to im­port and ex­port blocks of gold, and to ex­port gold jewellery.

For now, gold and di­a­monds both cross the coun­try’s borders il­le­gally, traders said. In­dus­try bod­ies asked the com­merce min­istry ear­lier this year to strike the pre­cious metal from its list of re­stricted goods, say­ing this would boost gov­ern­ment cof­fers and help to combat smug­gling.

Smug­glers now take ad­van­tage of a tax-free en­vi­ron­ment, pock­et­ing all the pro­ceeds at the ex­pense of Myan­mar liveli­hoods and the wealth of the coun­try, said a se­nior of­fi­cial at the Myan­mar Gold Trad­ing As­so­ci­a­tion pre­vi­ously said.

The com­merce min­istry is also ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Min­istry of Elec­tric­ity and En­ergy over the ex­port of crude oil, and should fin­ish dis­cus­sions early next year, U Khin Maung Lwin said.

The Min­istry of Com­merce is aiming for a min­i­mum of $11.1 bil­lion in ex­ports for the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year, and wants to see this in­crease three-fold by the end of its five-year plan, which started this year.

‘If a com­pany is al­lowed to im­port gold from abroad, it should be al­lowed to ex­port jewellery too.’ U Khin Maung Lwin Min­isry of Com­merce

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