Nay Pyi Taw, July (9)

The trade deficit issue grew worse under the military regime, putting the public at risk of yet another round of high commodity prices, import and export businessmen told Than Lwin Times.

According to the military council’s Ministry of Commerce, the export and import sectors had a deficit of more than 1,200 million US dollars between April and May of this fiscal year.

A trader said, “There is a gap in the export/import sector, in addition to the current sanctions, it is not easy to export, and the deficit is due to dollar requirements. For example, if we want to import goods from other countries such as China and Thailand, we can’t buy them because we don’t have dollars. I don’t know where to buy dollars”.

He also stated that if the demand for dollars in the export and import sectors is high, companies will be impacted, and it will be difficult to start new businesses and expand existing ones.

A businessman believes that the military council may encourage the companies to produce more domestic items in order to minimize the deficit, and that if imports are reduced, the people may once again suffer the effects of high prices.

The military council, which is in desperate need of dollars, ordered the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) to open secret bank accounts at the Myanmar Economic Bank in order to obtain more than 500 million dollars seized abroad due to European Union sanctions.

Some news outlets reported that the military council arrested and interrogated nearly 20 employees, including high-ranking officials from the MOGE office, in response to the leak of the secret bank account opening.

The military council also fined four local telecommunications operators, MPT, ATOM, Ooredoo, and MyTel, US$ 100,000 each for failing to comply with the instruction.

The World Bank announced on June 27 that Myanmar’s fiscal deficit is estimated to have widened to 5.4% of GDP in the year ended April 2023.

Since the military coup, Myanmar’s economy has not yet recovered, and the economy will continue to decline due to wrong policies, which will permanently impact the country’s economy, the World Bank said.

News-Than Lwin Times


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