Myanmar faces export problems despite lack of tariffs: minister

Writer: 
Hsan Htoo Aung
A Yangon port full of containers.

Although the country can export goods to the EU, the US, the UK, Japan and South Korea tariff-free, the export sector still faces issues, according to the Minister for Commerce.

Dr Than Myint said on May 15: “We can export agricultural products to the EU, the US, the UK, Japan and South Korea. But we cannot compete with other countries both in terms of price and quality. Moreover, we cannot export to deadlines, and therefore sometimes cannot fulfill the orders we are given.”

The country’s annual yield is less than that of neighboring countries and additionally, the transport fees are higher, he added.

“The production per acre of rice, beans and corn is smaller than neighbouring countries, while the production cost is higher than that of Vietnam and Cambodia. We have poor infrastructure in terms of roads, warehouses and ports. Our country’s logistic fee is highest in Southeast Asia, which means that international and domestic trading is expensive.”

Translated by Nay Thiha