The negotiation between China and Myanmar should be held to reduce delays in the flow of goods between two countries at Muse border trade area

22 Jun 2020

Negotiations should be held to reduce delays in the flow of goods between China and Myanmar caused by limitations at the Muse Border Trade Area, says a senior Myanmar official.

The delays if the flow of goods is caused by traffic congestions and limited goods inspection facilities and personnel at the trade area in northern Shan State, said Minister of Commerce U Than Myint.

U Than Myint said this after a meeting with a delegation from China led by China Ambassador Chen Hai to discuss problems with goods flows at the border between China and Myanmar.

China needs to inspect aquaculture and agricultural products as quickly as possible to reduce spoilage and efforts should be made to expand infrastructure such as roads and facilities to facilitate this, he said, adding that arrangements also need to made to streamline regular trade and barter trade at the border.

Because of China’s restrictions for security reasons, some of Myanmar’s export products such as fruits and aquaculture products have to go through delays and some shipments suffer spoilage as a result. The problem is compounded by insufficient truck drivers on the Chinese side of the border once the goods cross over.

As a result of the problems, export volumes via the Muse area have dropped drastically over the last two years to as low as 20 percent of what it used to be, said U Min Thein, chair of Muse 105th Mile Rice Wholesale Centre.

“Only around 130 trucks can go through the Manwin Gate daily. In the past, around 450 trucks were not unusual. Right now, it takes from six to seven days for a 11 kilometre trip from the 105th Mile trade area to Kyal Gaung,” U Min Thein said.

Since COVID-19 was detected in Myanmar in March, the Chinese government has banned Myanmar truck drivers from entering China and implemented a system where Chinese drivers take over the trucks from Myanmar once they cross the border. However, there are times when there are not enough Chinese drivers.

Despite a request to the Chinese government to increase the drivers on their side of the border by an additional 40 or 50, only 13 more have been assigned, said U Min Thein.

To avoid shipments of aquaculture products having to wait for Chinese drivers in Muse, they are now being exported via the Kyin San Kyawt border gate.

To lessen congestion between Muse and Shweli, empty trucks should not be allowed to park along the route so priority can be given to moving loaded trucks said Ambassador Chen Hai. Additionally, Chinese drivers with health documentation should be allowed to enter Myanmar in order to speed shipments up, he said.

A facility for goods inspection at the Mant Man- Nwan Yin border gate would also be beneficial, the ambassador added.

U Than Myint said more talks will be held to implement the suggestions. - Translated


(The Myanmar Times: )

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