Myanmar to mull tariff cut for Taiwan’s fabrics following an economic summit

TAIPEI — Myanmar has agreed to study the possibility of lowering its tariffs on imported Taiwanese fabrics, a move seen as a goodwill gesture following an economic dialogue held by Taiwan and Myanmar, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said Saturday.

A Taiwanese delegation led by Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮), head of the MOEA’s Bureau of Foreign Trade, visited Myanmar from Sept. 9 to 12 and met with economic authorities in the Southeast Asian country.

After their meeting, the two sides signed a joint statement pledging to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.

The MOEA said the dialogue with Myanmar prompted the country to consider cutting tariffs on Taiwan-made fabrics.

Importers of Taiwanese fabric in Myanmar are currently required to pay import duties of 5-15 percent, according to the ministry. It did not say if fabrics made in other countries receive preferential tariff treatment from the country.

The ministry said fabrics are one of Taiwan’s few important export items to Myanmar, accounting for 14 percent of Taiwan’s outbound sales to the country with exports worth US$32 million.

The MOEA said Taiwan also agreed with Myanmar to discuss further the possibility of exporting agricultural equipment and modified vegetable seeds and rice seeds to the emerging market in the future.

The two sides agreed to work together on commodity inspection technology to lower trading costs, and Taiwan pledged to help Myanmar set up a system to speed up the goods clearance process at customs.

The MOEA said Taipei and Naypyidaw have also reached a consensus to improve exchanges of information on trade, which is expected to help Taiwanese exporters analyze the Myanmar market before developing strategies to get involved there.

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA,貿協), a government-sponsored trade promotion group, set up an office in Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon in November 2013.

The MOEA said the TAITRA office will work with Myanmar authorities to hold trade exhibitions, economic forums and other trade-related events to help the two countries to boost their visibility in the global market.

Source: The China Post

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