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Foreign Trade in Figures

Myanmar's relatively dynamic foreign trade is generally subject to state control, although the current reforms are aiming to liberalise the market. International trade represented 54% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2020) in decline in the last couple of years. Customs duties have been reduced, and there are few non-tariff trade barriers, with the exception of government controls (import limitations). Import licenses have been partially abolished and taxes on exports decreased. Myanmar is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995 and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country mainly exports petroleum (15,4% of all exports in 2020), rice (6%), refine copper (5%) as well as natural gas, precious and semiprecious stones; while for imports the major products are petroleum oils (8.7% of all imports), motocycles, broadcasting equipments, fabrics, cane or beet sugar, and vegetable fats and oils (World Bank, 2022). According to estimates from the IMF, the COVID-19-induced crisis had a strong impact on Myanmar’s imports, which registered a decrease of 7.8% compared to one year earlier; whereas exports remained stable.

In geographical terms, China is, by far, the main destination for Myanmar exports (27.7%), followed by Thailand (14.2%), Japan (7.5%) and Germany (6.7%). Imports come chiefly from China (43.8%), Thailand (17.4%), Singapore (10.2%) and Indonesia with 4.2% (OEC, 2022).

Despite the progress made in exports, the country has a negative trade balance, due to substantial import related to investment projects and sustained consumption. Official export figures are underestimated due to the valuable goods that are smuggled to neighbouring countries like Thailand, China, and Bangladesh (especially timber, gems, narcotics and rice). According to the latest figures from WTO, Myanmar exported a total of 19.4 billion USD and imported 26.1 billion USD in 2020, resulting in a trade deficit of 6.5 billion USD.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 16,60019,25319,35518,58817,947
Exports of Goods (million USD) 11,00013,87916,70417,99716,692
Imports of Services (million USD) n/a2,8633,3733,5843,421
Exports of Services (million USD) n/a3,7564,4216,4594,332
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 10-2-8-53
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1312115-7
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,578-5,767-4,132-2,850n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 6162615256
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3534302427
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2628302829

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
China 31.8%
Thailand 17.8%
Japan 7.3%
United States 5.1%
Singapore 4.1%
See More Countries 33.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 36.3%
Singapore 13.7%
Thailand 10.7%
Indonesia 6.0%
Malaysia 5.6%
See More Countries 27.7%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),AFTA and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.
Member of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
Useful Resources
The National Customs
 
 
 

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Latest Update: April 2022

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