Mawlamyine, May (5)

Economists pointed out that the coup military council’s directive to reduce foreign imports as much as possible and to tighten inspection of imported goods to avoid a trade deficit was an incorrect approach.

According to the military leader’s instructions, the Military Council’s Department of Consumer Affairs announced the order last week of April to prevent trade deficits, not to import domestically available products as much as possible, and to verify and import only those products that cannot be produced locally.

The military council issued the directives to the Department of Consumer Affairs in every region and state, the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the country’s businessmen’s groups.

An economist told The Than Lwin Times that the attempt to reduce imports without promoting the export sector is a wrong method and shows the shortage of foreign currency once again.

He added, “If the authorities decide that imports will be allowed only after receiving export earnings, exporters will rush to export their goods. And, if they cancel the reference price of 2,100 Kyats per dollar and allow exports and imports to be traded at prices in the open market, dollar prices will rise and imports will be automatically controlled”.

In addition, if they restrict imports from countries that are not yet able to produce enough domestically, the prices of essential goods may rise exponentially, and this may have a big impact on the market, he said.

An import and export businessman said that since this operation controls all trade, it will be difficult for those who import foreign goods, and illegal trade may become stronger.

The target for the previous fiscal year was $ 1.5 billion, but it showed a trade deficit of more than $700 million. The goal for this year is to achieve a trade surplus of $1 billion, but even though April saw a trade deficit, economists believe that the authorities are attempting to restrict the import sector.

The military council says it is trying to reduce foreign imports and boost local manufacturing, but local businesses are having trouble operating due to skyrocketing prices of raw materials, high general expenses, and power outages.

On the other hand, the military council has instructed that 65 percent of the export earnings obtained from the export of goods must be exchanged in Myanmar kyats according to the rate set by the junta-controlled central bank, so the country is facing a decline in the trade sector.
News – Than Lwin Times

Photo – MOI

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