Myanmar-Thai illegal border trade booming

Illegal trade along the Myanmar-Thai border appears to be booming after quadrupling in only one month, according to sources from the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar illegally imports consumables such as alcoholic beverages, food stuffs, confectionaries as well as electronics, mobile phones and petrol at a total value of US$ 132 million.

Illegal imports by far outweigh official figures, which, according to statistics from July 2013, amounted to US$ 42 million for Myanmar and US$ 173 million for Thailand.

“This shows a huge trade deficit,” said one official from the border trade department.

It also demonstrates a booming illegal economy based around Myanmar’s porous border areas in many products which do not enter the country legally due to corruption or inefficient controls.

Myanmar has six border trade points along Myanmar and Thailand border.

The Ministry of Commerce has taken action against illegal trading and seized beverages, beer, handsets, timber and jade worth up to US$ 1.4 billion from Myawady and Tarchileik border trade routes in the last ten months.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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