Thai food exports to Myanmar surge

THE NATIONAL FOOD INSTITUTE of the Ministry of Industry says small and medium-sized food processing businesses should target Myanmar given the jump in Thai food imports.

The institute revealed that Thai food exports to Myanmar increased 24 per cent last year. That makes Myanmar the world’s fourth largest importer of Thai food after Japan, the USA and China.

It is forecast that Myanmar’s economy will increase 8 per cent this year.

Yongvut Saovapruk, president of the National Food Institute, said that the institute took food-processing SMEs to the Myanmar International Franchise & SME Expo in Yangon last month.

According to its survey, Myanmar people are familiar with Thai food.

They love to eat noodle-based foods with a salty taste. They prefer fried food rather than the boiled food, but they do not like coconut milk being used in food.

Yongvut said that Myanmar represents 4 per cent of Thailand’s total food exports, which were valued at Bt900 billion last year.

Japan represents 13 per cent, the US 11 per cent and China with 9 per cent.

Myanmar is the leading export market for Thai foods in Asean at 17 per cent.

Thailand exported Bt231 billion in food and ingredients to Asean nations last year, 21 per cent of which was sugar.

Of the rest, the highest ranked were energy drinks, beer, whisky, non-dairy creamers, medical food, instant coffee, palm oil and crackers. Yongvut said that Thai food processing SMEs should note the growth of Myanmar’s economy.

“Euromonitor predicted that the average growth of the market for processing foods in Myanmar between 2014 and 2018 will be about 15 per cent per annum,” he said.

“However, the market growth of non-alcohol beverages in Myanmar is as high as 23 per cent per year over the period.”

Yongvut said that at the Myanmar International Franchise & SME Expo Thai producers were able to showcase their food products, including ant eggs in cans, dried banana, herb tea, instant Korat noodles, basil seed drinks and garcinia cambogia juice.

He said that the aim was to create awareness about Thai food brands and to meet potential trading partners in order to penetrate the Myanmar market.


Source: The Nation

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