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China-Myanmar border trade fair to open
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A China-Myanmar border trade fair will be opened on Monday in a Chinese border town in Southwestern Yunnan Province linking Myanmar's Muse in Shan state aimed at promoting the bilateral trade between the two countries.


It is the 7th of this kind trade fair between the two countries and also the second time for an annual China-Myanmar border trade fair to be participated by other neighboring countries such as Thailand, India and Bangladesh.


The five-day China-Myanmar border trade exhibition to be held in Jiegao, Ruili, Chinese border town linking with Myanmar, which will run until Friday, are joined by about 100 Myanmar enterprises.


Myanmar products, displayed at its 60 booths in the fair, cover agricultural produces such as various beans and pulses, maize and sesame, marine products, rubber, furniture and gem items.


During the trade fair, a joint committee meeting for China- Myanmar border trade and a coordination meeting on economic affairs are to be attached.


Ruili remains a main border trade point of China with its border trade volume alone accounting for 70 percent of Yunnan province's border trade with neighboring countries.


Since 2001, China-Myanmar border trade exhibitions have been held annually and alternately in respective border towns and the last event was in Myanmar's Muse in December 2006.


Meanwhile, Myanmar established a 150-hectare Muse border trade zone, the first largest of its kind in the country, and transformation of its border trade with China into normal trade has been underway since early 2005.


In March this year, a 350-strong economic and trade delegation of Yunnan Province of China, led by Governor of Yunnan Province Qin Guangrong, visited Yangon and held trade and investment promotion meeting with its Myanmar counterparts, serving as a giant step forward for trans-border normal trade.


At the meeting, attended by a total of over 600 businessmen from over 400 companies from both sides, Yunnan Province of China and Myanmar signed a seven series of trade accords in Yangon which deal with agricultural, mining and trade cooperation.


Yunnan Province, which borders Myanmar, has more trade relations with the country than any other province of China and Myanmar-China border trade accounted for larger proportion of the two countries' bilateral trade. The trend of rising border trade was apparently up year after year especially the Myanmar-Yunnan bilateral trade.


It is anticipated that in the future development, transit trade to the third countries would be launched through the two countries ' border points to effectively implement the normal trade.


According to Chinese official figures, in the first three quarters of 2007, China-Myanmar bilateral trade hit 1.435 billion U.S. dollars, up 37.7 percent compared with 2006 correspondingly. Of the total, China's exports to Myanmar took 1.216 billion dollars, up 45.8 percent, while its import from Myanmar stood 220 million dollars, up 5.2 percent. China enjoyed a trade surplus of 996 million U.S. dollars.


The figures for 2006's China-Myanmar bilateral trade were registered at 1.46 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, trade between the Yunnan province and Myanmar amounted to 692.08 million U.S. dollars during the year, up 9.6 percent from the previous year. Of the total, Yunnan's exports to Myanmar represented 521 million U.S. dollars, while its imports from Myanmar was valued at 171 million U.S. dollars, the figures show.


Main items that Yunnan imports from Myanmar are agricultural products, aquatic products, minerals, rubber and its products, while main items that Yunnan exports to Myanmar are electric and machinery, textile, chemicals, steel, daily-used products, pharmaceuticals and others.


The two countries have set a target for their annual bilateral trade to increase to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.


Myanmar has a total of 13 main border trade points with its four neighbors, namely Muse, Lwejei, Laizar, Chinshwehaw and Kambaiti established with China since 1998, Tachilek, Kawthoung, Myawaddy and Myeik with Thailand since 1996, Tamu and Reedkhawdhar with India since 1995 and Maungtaw and Sittway with Bangladesh also since 1995.


(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2007)

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