Myanmar border trade hit by conflicts

Border crossing to Bangladash in Maungdaw

Religious persecution of Muslim Rohingyas and the continuation of conflict in the long-restive Kachin State have hindered main cross-border trade routes in Myanmar.

The migration of tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh reduced trade through the Rakhine border to a trickle, registering just slightly over $2 million the last two months, according to Thura Swiss, a Yangon-based consultancy.

While trade through the border town of Maungdaw has continued flowing, albeit at negligible volumes, Bangladesh has yet to resume exports to Myanmar.

It is now estimated that some 28,000 Rohingya refugees are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar district, while tens of thousands more are squatting without access to any facilities.

In Myanmar’s northern Kachin State, rebel factions and government troops broke a cease-fire agreement and conflict has once again flared up, causing some trade routes to China to close, harming main arteries with the country’s largest investor.

In addition to renewed violence, trade to China was further stymied when a bridge on the Kanpaikte border in Kachin State collapsed.

These civil disruptions aided Myanmar in registering an external trade deficit the first five months of the fiscal year 2012/13, with imports measuring $3.38 billion and exports standing at $3.2 billion.

Porous borders and lack of control by the central government over peripheral states results in a worrying amount of illegal cross-border trade. It is estimated that the black market trade is 10 to 20 times the size of legal trade in Myanmar.

With the wide-open migration of both Rohingya and Kachin refugees, this is expected to be a continued concern.

A delegation from the US State Department was recently sent to Bangladesh to access the situation.

Opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi is due for a trip to the US on September 16, where she will receive the US Congressional Gold Medal, which was awarded to her in 2008 during her house arrest.

 

 



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[caption id="attachment_4550" align="alignleft" width="300"] Border crossing to Bangladash in Maungdaw[/caption] Religious persecution of Muslim Rohingyas and the continuation of conflict in the long-restive Kachin State have hindered main cross-border trade routes in Myanmar. The migration of tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh reduced trade through the Rakhine border to a trickle, registering just slightly over $2 million the last two months, according to Thura Swiss, a Yangon-based consultancy. While trade through the border town of Maungdaw has continued flowing, albeit at negligible volumes, Bangladesh has yet to resume exports to Myanmar. It is now estimated that...

Border crossing to Bangladash in Maungdaw

Religious persecution of Muslim Rohingyas and the continuation of conflict in the long-restive Kachin State have hindered main cross-border trade routes in Myanmar.

The migration of tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh reduced trade through the Rakhine border to a trickle, registering just slightly over $2 million the last two months, according to Thura Swiss, a Yangon-based consultancy.

While trade through the border town of Maungdaw has continued flowing, albeit at negligible volumes, Bangladesh has yet to resume exports to Myanmar.

It is now estimated that some 28,000 Rohingya refugees are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar district, while tens of thousands more are squatting without access to any facilities.

In Myanmar’s northern Kachin State, rebel factions and government troops broke a cease-fire agreement and conflict has once again flared up, causing some trade routes to China to close, harming main arteries with the country’s largest investor.

In addition to renewed violence, trade to China was further stymied when a bridge on the Kanpaikte border in Kachin State collapsed.

These civil disruptions aided Myanmar in registering an external trade deficit the first five months of the fiscal year 2012/13, with imports measuring $3.38 billion and exports standing at $3.2 billion.

Porous borders and lack of control by the central government over peripheral states results in a worrying amount of illegal cross-border trade. It is estimated that the black market trade is 10 to 20 times the size of legal trade in Myanmar.

With the wide-open migration of both Rohingya and Kachin refugees, this is expected to be a continued concern.

A delegation from the US State Department was recently sent to Bangladesh to access the situation.

Opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi is due for a trip to the US on September 16, where she will receive the US Congressional Gold Medal, which was awarded to her in 2008 during her house arrest.

 

 



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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