Myanmar Trade, Exports and Imports

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Myanmar does not enjoy good trade relations, especially with the western countries. The US does not import anything from Myanmar. Australia and the European Union have also imposed sanctions on the country, restricting the import of certain products. Myanmar’s exports fell drastically during the global economic crisis of 2008-09. However, Myanmar is a member of the WTO, ASEAN and BIMSTEC. It shares healthy trade relations with its neighboring countries, including India, Thailand and China.

 

The country’s poor infrastructure is one of the main hindrances to international trade. The primary route of trade is across the Thai border, which is also used to export many illegal drugs through the Ayeyarwady River. Burma has a wealth of precious stones and gems. However, due to the infamous working conditions in the mines, international companies refuse to import these stones.

 

Burma has a large trade deficit that has also crippled its economic growth. In 2007, the country imported 18,250 bbl/day and exported only 2,200 bbl/day of oil. The total overall imports rose to $3.555 billion in 2009, from $3.388 billion in 2008 (excluding the import of smuggled products). The total overall exports fell to $6.504 billion in 2009, from $6.677 billion in 2008 (excluding export of smuggled products).

 

Myanmar Imports: Commodities

The major commodities imported by Myanmar are as follows:

           

  • Fabric

  • Petroleum products and crude oil

  • Fertilizer

  • Plastics

  • Machinery

  • Transport equipment

  • Cement and construction materials

  • Food products and edible oil

Myanmar Imports: Partners

The share of Myanmar’s major import partners (as of 2008) is depicted in the following graph:

Myanmar’s major import partners (2008)

Myanmar Exports: Commodities

The major commodities exported by Myanmar are as follows:

  • Natural gas

  • Wood products

  • Pulses and beans

  • Fish

  • Rice

  • Clothing

  • Jade and gems

Myanmar Exports: Partners

The share of Myanmar’s major export partners (as of 2008) is depicted in the following graph:

 

Myanmar’s major export partners (2008)