01/04/2018, 13.33
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Myanmar’s trade with China growing

Trade with China is second only to trade with ASEAN countries. Myanmar is strategically important for China, especially in the context of its Belt and Road Initiative. Beijing has invested heavily in the country, building roads, railways, ports and oil pipelines.

Naypyitaw (AsiaNews) - The value of Myanmar’s trade with its main trade partner China, as of October of this fiscal year, reached US.3 billion, consisting of US.83 billion in exports and .5 billion in imports, this according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry.

Myanmar’s regional trade with the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was the highest, closely followed by bilateral trade with its most populous neighbour, China

The value of bilateral trade with China was some US.8 billion in 2016-2017, US.9 billion in 2015-16, US.7 billion in 2014-2015, US billion in 2013-2014, US.95 billion in 2012-2013 and US billion in 2011-2012. 

Border trade with China performed better than trade delivered by sea. Between 1 April and 22 December in this financial year, the value of border trade through China-Myanmar checkpoints — Muse, Lwejel, Chinshwehaw, Kanpiketee and Keng Tung — reached US.5 billion.

Rice, peas, sesame seeds, corn, vegetables and fruits, dried tea leaves, fishery products, rubber, minerals and animal products are exported to China, whereas machinery, plastic raw materials, consumer products and electronic tools flow into Myanmar.

Myanmar is strategically important for China, especially in light of its Belt and Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s plan to connect China with Europe through a new Silk Road.

As part of this, Beijing has invested heavily in Myanmar, committing itself to the construction of roads, railways, ports and oil pipelines.

China, which has provided steadfast support to Myanmar’s former military junta for over two decades, has also invested extensively in the country’s nascent democracy in an attempt to compete for influence with the United States and other Western powers.

Beijing is also Naypyitaw’s largest arms supplier.

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