Myanmar discusses lifting duty on rice exports to China

Myanmar is negotiating with Chinese officials to lift duty taxes on agricultural exports, including rice, bean, corn, and sesame, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar traders have had to resort to exporting rice in unnamed sacks to avoid the Chinese authorities’ quality controls. Some traders were arrested in April because China has not yet approved some imports from Myanmar despite the high demand.

“At present we are negotiating for rice and corn. China is quickly sending AQSIQ [General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine]. There the quality is the main concern. Our part is to do agriculture. After negotiating with AQSIQ in China, we will get permit for duty free, quota free. Now it is still in the process,” said Dr. Maung Aunt, an advisor for the Ministry of Commerce.

Eighty percent of Myanmar’s rice and corn exports go to China mostly across the northern border town of Muse. Over the last 2013-14 fiscal year, 684,698 tonnes of rice worth US$ 274 million was traded across the border to China. Up to 381,716 tonnes or rice worth US$ 106 million which was exported overseas, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Among 163 corn producing countries all over the world, Myanmar has been exporting between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes of corn annually. In total it has exported over 280,000 metric tonnes to China. Other countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Bulgaria and Spain.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, Myanmar’s corn exports amounted to more than 1 million tonnes, worth US$ 286 million. Just 954 tonnes went overseas while 1 million tonnes went across land borders.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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