China, Myanmar discuss establishment of border economic cooperation zone

The establishment of China-Myanmar border economic cooperation zone is being discussed between the two governments. The government of Yunnan Province has invested US$10 billion in Myanmar, while Myanmar entrepreneurs have also invested $100 million in the province, according to a press release.

The press release came after a regular meeting between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Yunnan Provincial General Chamber of Commerce (YPGCC).

Trade value between Myanmar and Yunnan in 2016 reached $6.1 billion. Myanmar’s export value amounted to $3.6 billion, and the import value to $2.5 billion.

Yunnan’s investment of $10 billion up to June this year mostly went toward hydroelectricity, minerals and agriculture. Ren Guanghua, deputy counsel-director of the Yunnan government’s trade department, said the amount constituted 21 per cent of the province’s total investment in foreign countries.

Meanwhile, Myanmar businesspeople have in invested in Yunnan’s real estate, industry, retail and wholesale trade and hotels industry.

Details about the establishment of a bilateral border economic cooperation zone are still being coordinated by officials on both sides. Toe Aung Myint, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, said when the zone emerges, raw materials will be turned into finished goods in the zone, and entrepreneurs from both countries will be able to establish factories there.

UMFCCI and YPGCC meet every year. The two sides have met six times so far, and they have discussed the promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries and between organisations. In the latest meeting, they discussed infrastructure development, electricity and energy, training skilled workers, agriculture, transport, investment and legal issues relating to environmental conservation.

The discussion also included the implementation of the border economic cooperation zone project as included in the agreement signed in May last year, Myanmar’s export of agricultural products, including rice and corn, without a quota system, the promotion of investment in the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and effective cooperation in the One-Belt-One-Road project. UMFCCI President Zaw Min Win said the meeting results and suggestions would be submitted to the government.

Source: Eleven Myanmar