Trade needs stability: deputy minister

Writer: 
Nyein Zaw Lin + Myo Min Htet
Deputy Minister Aung Htoo answers questions at the Lower House in Nay Pyi Taw on June 16.

 

If markets and trade policies are seen as unreliable, exports will fall, Aung Htoo, deputy minister for commerce, told MPs. 

He was asked if he was seeking new markets for agricultural exports. 

Aung Htoo said: “Myanmar has managed to reconnect with the world rice market. It sought new rice markets in 53 countries, including in the EU and Africa. Myanmar exported 1.7 million tonnes of rice during the last financial year."

Sesame exports had expanded beyond China to South Korea, Singapore and Japan, the deputy minister added. Boosting trade ties was always one of the first items on the agenda when ministers travelled overseas, he told MPs. Moreover, Thailand, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh had already established joint trade commissions. Negotiations were still taking place to boost exports to China. 

The agricultural sector produced US$2.9 billion during the last financial year, Aung Htoo said. The main export was natural gas but profits had fallen with the global price while the food, clothing and re-export trade had thrived, he added. 

The ministry's trade development mid-term plan had been drafted to boost exports but it needed the cooperation of farmers and manufacturers, Aung Htoo said.