Mawlamyine, December (9)
Although China has eased some of the COVID-19 restrictions, China-Myanmar bilateral trade has not returned to normal and there are still difficulties, the traders told Than Lwin Times.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has completely closed some border trade gates and imposed strict rules, which have almost brought bilateral trade to a standstill.
Now, China has eased some of the restrictions on the trade sector in the first week of December.
However, it is still not possible to enter China and export goods as before, and the drivers from Myanmar can only drive up to 105-miles trade zone, where China carry the goods with their drivers appointed in accordance with the COVID-19 rules in China.
“The Man Wein and Kyin San Kyawt gates were open before, allowing 500–600 cars to pass through each day, but now only one gate is open, allowing only 100 cars to pass through. We want more gates to be opened,” according to a trader.
There are five border trade gates in the China-Myanmar border town of Muse, but currently only one gate is open, so it takes a long time to export goods, and there are losses due to rotting of some crops.
A trader claimed that since the Chinese side has removed some of the COVID-19 restrictions, they were able to export goods with around 100 vehicles a day compared to about 50 in the past.
Myanmar mainly exports rice, broken rice, green gram, sesame, oilseeds, pulses, melons, cucumbers, rubber, and aquatic products to China via the border trade zone.
Myanmar imports construction materials, electrical equipment, industrial equipment, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, foodstuff and other commodities from China.
China-Myanmar bilateral trade was worth millions of US dollars every year before the COVID-19 pandemic, but during the pandemic, China stopped exporting commodities and the trade plummeted by about half due to stringent regulations relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.
News-Than Lwin Times