Thai-Myanmar trade hit by border closures

Thai-Myanmar trade hit by border closures

A file image of a border crossing on the Myanmar-Thai border. Chan Mya Htwe/The Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s trade with its ASEAN neighbour Thailand cannot help but be affected by the closure of crossing points along the countries shared border.

Thailand has closed several gates along the Thai-Myanmar border to goods and people and will allow only goods through two crossing points as part of efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Thailand also closed the Tachileik, Htee Khee, and Mawtaung border gates to both people and goods on 23 March. The entry of people, goods and vehicles at the permanent and temporary crossing points in Ya Naung District will also be suspended until the situation returns to normal.

Although Thailand closed Tachileik gate, goods can still go through Myawaddy gate. Trade is not completely halted but there will be effects as the flow of goods is now restricted. It is still too early to say what the overall effects will be.

Myanmar’s main export through Myawaddy is maize and some US$1.5 million of the crop is sent to Thailand annually. Thai-Myanmar border trade is conducted mainly through the Myawaddy, Tachileik, Kawthaung, Myeik, Htee Khee, Maw Taung and Maese border trade areas.

2019-2020 fiscal year, trade volume via the Myawaddy border trade area has reached a total US$555.32 million, with exports reaching US$167.88 million and imports US$387.44 million.

Tachileik saw trade worth US$63 million, Kawthaung US$171 million, with US$145million ub exports.  Myeik saw US$90million, with US$35million in exports and US$55 million in imports.  Htee Khee saw US$882million – with US$868 million in exports and US$14 million in imports. Maw Taung saw trade volumes of US$11million, while Maese saw slightly more than US $2 million.

Source: Myanmar Times

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