Myanmar moves more trade functions online

MyanTrade, Myanmar’s trade promotion agency under the Ministry of Commerce, on October 21 launched a new website – www.myantrade.gov.mm – to better promote trade between local businesses and their international counterparts.

The website’s key features and functions include information, guidelines and live chats for local businesses wanting to expand overseas and for foreign traders looking to procure products made in Myanmar.

“This will help local businesses stay competitive and enable people to access information about trading with Myanmar online given the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

We will continuously update the website and a virtual marketplace will also be set up for traders to connect and do business,” said Daw Naw Mu Ta Kapaw, Director General of MyanTrade.

This comes at a time when international demand from Europe, the US and Japan for more artisanal, locally-made products such as honey and coffee has risen.

Arrangements are currently being made to promote Myanmar lacquerware overseas via the embassies. “Lacquerware products don’t sell much now due to the collapse in tourism. We have to work with local businesses to promote Myanmar handicraft businesses overseas. This is also part of our National Export Strategy from 2020 to 2025,” said Deputy Director General U Myo Thu.

“The information services provided by MyanTrade will help to narrow the knowledge gap on expanding into foreign markets for local businesses. It will also serve as a platform for export promotion this year,” said U Maung Maung Lay, vice chair of the Union of Myanmar Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Moving trade promotion functions online is the latest in a series of steps taken by the government to digitalise and facilitate trade. Military accuses Shan armed group of torturing aptive officers

Next month, Myanmar will also be launching an online portal that will enable all paperwork and payments to be done digitally. Administrative procedures such as applications and payments for export and import permits can be done online on the Myanmar Tradenet 2.0 portal, while the documents can also be issued digitally.

Over US$8 billion worth of export/import permits have already been issued online since the pandemic first broke out and almost 70 percent of all license applications were processed digitally, U Min Aung Aye, director of the Department of Trading under the Ministry of Commerce, told the Myanmar Times last month. Fee payments can also be done online with the Myanmar Payment Union.

Myanmar exceeded the targeted amount of trade revenue for fiscal 2019-20, with trade volumes valued at US$36 billion for the period compared to the target of US$33 billion.

During the period, exports were estimated at US$17.4 billion, while imports were valued at US$18.8 billion. Compared to fiscal 2018-19, exports showed an increase of US$851 million, while imports climbed up by US$1 billion. Myanmar’s foreign trade thus expanded by over 10pc year-on-year.

The country typically exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, intermediate goods, garment materials and consumer goods.

Source : Myanmar Times

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