Myanmar leader Vice Senior-General Maung Aye stressed the importance of boosting bilateral trade with China under normal trade system through border trade zone and transforming the trade into the major land trade center like Yangon Port, according to Monday's official media report.
"Permission has been given for regular trade between the two countries, so black market should have been no more," Maung Aye, Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, told respective local authorities administrating the Muse 105th Mile Border trade Zone last weekend when he inspected the zone, said the New Light of Myanmar.
Yangon Port was previously the major source of transport for trade with foreign countries, but over the past two decades, border trade has been launched with immediate neighbors through land routes, he said, citing the Muse 105th Mile Border trade Zone in Muse that shares border with China and underlining that the trade volume of the zone is larger than any other land trade centers such as Myawaddy with Thailand and Tamu with India.
He urged the authorities with the border trade zone to educate and organize merchants to turn to legal border trade and pat taxes.
According to Minister of Commerce Brigadier-General Tin Naing Thein, after transforming Myanmar-China border trade into regular trade through the Muse border trade zone, Myanmar-China bilateral trade increased annually.
"In the past, sea lane was the usual means of transport for trade with foreign countries and now export and import are expedited with one stop service through the Muse border trade zone, proving the regular trade by land successful." Tin said.
The turnover of the trade with China makes up over 70 percent of the total volume of regular trade with neighboring countries through land routes, he disclosed, saying that the trade zone (Muse) is a thriving regular trade camp.
Muse 105th Mile Border trade Zone is 11.2 kilometers from the border town of Muse in Shan state covering an area of 150 hectares in the first phase. Bilateral regular trade between Myanmar and China has been boosted year by year since 2006.
Myanmar exports to China through Muse border trade zone agricultural produces such as rice, beans and pulses, corn and sesame, fruits such as mango, watermelon and muskmelon, and marine products such as fish, prawn and eel, minerals such as lead and jade, and timber and forest products, while importing from China in return iron, steel, construction materials, machine and machine tools, computer an accessories, farm implements, fertilizer, raw materials and household utensils.
Meanwhile, Maung Aye paid a goodwill visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping last month, bringing about new success in bilateral relations between the two countries.
During the visit, three documents were signed, including an agreement on economic and technical cooperation.
According to Chinese official statistics, China-Myanmar bilateral trade amounted to 2.626 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, up26.4 percent. Of the total, China's export to Myanmar took 1.978 billion dollars.
Up to the end of 2008, China's contracted investment in Myanmar reached 1.331 billion dollars, of which that in mining, electric power and oil and gas respectively took 866 million dollars, 281 million dollars and 124 million dollars.
China has risen from the 6th position to the 4th in Myanmar's foreign investment line-up.
Moreover, traders of different business sectors from Myanmar will participate in the forthcoming October Nanning Trade Fair of China to seek trade promotion between Myanmar and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.
Myanmar's attendance in the Nanning Expo would further scale up the bilateral trade between the two countries, observers here said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2009)