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Myanmar to allow private plantations to export timber

The government will allow trees grown in plantations owned by the private sector and state-owned companies to be harvested for their timber and exported.

Myanmar Timber Enterprise general manager U NyiNyi Tun confirmed to reporters on June 11 in Nay Pyi Taw that the government has decided to ease restrictions on exports for these timber sources but the ban on the harvesting of timber from natural forests stands. The Forest Department had announced the loosening of the restriction on May 31. Timber exports have been banned since April 2014.

Myanmar Forest Products and Timber Merchants Association vice chair U Thein Win said the ease on restrictions of timber exports from plantations will help businesses recoup their investments in such plantations.

“The trees have been growing for 10 years and allowing the investors to get back some of their investments will also encourage them to invest more in such plantations,” he said.

To ensure that the timber comes only from plantations and not harvested from natural forests, the Forest Department will be carrying out inspections. Companies wanting to harvest their timber for exports will need to get the department’s permission.

According to a 2015 report by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation, Myanmar accounts for half of teak exports before the country banned timber exports in 2014. According to Ministry of Commerce data, the value of wood and timber product exports before the ban averaged over US$500 million annually.

Source: Myanmar Times

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