Myan­mar records $1.5b trade deficit in first four months

The Myanmar Times - - Business - – Htin Lynn Aung, trans­la­tion by Khant Lin Oo

Myan­mar’s to­tal trade vol­ume has fallen by al­most US$700 mil­lion in the first four months of this fis­cal year com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to Min­istry of Com­merce data, while the coun­try has racked up a $1.5 bil­lion trade deficit.

Ex­ports in the first four months of FY2016-17 fell by $91.78 mil­lion com­pared with last year, to $3.599 bil­lion, while im­ports fell by $594.45 mil­lion to $5.117 bil­lion, min­istry data shows.

“Both im­ports and ex­ports are down be­cause there have been prob­lems in al­most every sec­tor since last year. Also, the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, which makes up the bulk of our ex­ports, was hit due to fol­low­ing,” said U Maung Aung, a Min­istry of Com­merce ad­viser to the for­mer gov­ern­ment.

“It is true that we have a trad­ing deficit, but this is be­cause we im­port so many raw ma­te­ri­als.”

He be­lieves that in the short term, the value of im­ports will rise be­cause of new in­vest­ment.

“The value of ex­ports will also rise but we will con­tinue to have a trade deficit for at least the next cou­ple of years,” he said.

Myan­mar’s trade deficit has nar­rowed since the first four months of FY2015-16, when it was run­ning a $2.02 bil­lion deficit.

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