Junta’s restrictions on trade fuel expansion of black market, raising commodity prices

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Mawlamyine, November (5)

Economists and importers told Than Lwin Times that due to the military council’s directive to allow imports only if export earnings can be shown for border trades, the black market may grow and prices may rise again.

On October 31, the Department of Trade under the Military Council announced that imports would only be allowed if they could show export earnings to another country.

In addition, importers have to pay through the relevant banks to import goods using export earnings, and if the import value exceeds the bank account balance, the import license will not be granted.

According to an economist, the military council’s restrictions on the import industry might make it more difficult to import necessities, grow the black market, and raise product prices.

In addition, it is possible that the military council enacted such regulations because it wants to get foreign currency, but due to low domestic exports, it may become more difficult to import goods in the long term, and some consider that there may be damage to the import sector.

The Military Council said in the statement that it imposed those restrictions to improve Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures and follow the Action Plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The military council’s directive will be applied to Myanmar-Thailand border trade starting from November 1, and this is not available to importers who apply for the permit as of October 31, 2022. It also announced that those who obtained an import license during that period must complete their imports before November 30, if they fail to do so, the import license will be revoked.

Myanmar mainly exports agricultural products, including corn, to Thailand via its border trade gates, and imports basic food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, consumer goods, and construction materials from Thailand.

News – Than Lwin Times

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