China to import US$500m of Myanmar rice this year: minister

The value of rice Kunming will import from Myanmar this year is expected to reach US$500 million this year through a barter arrangement, deputy commerce minister U Aung Htoo claimed.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries for bartering goods recently. “According to report sent from Kunming roughly that they would buy rice worth about US$500 million this year from us under this agreement,” the official said on June 10.

Myanmar will also import machineries, equipment and steels from China with the same value.

The ministry’s permanent secretary U Aung Soe denied that Myanmar businesses do not like Chinese machineries and equipment because of their quality.

Barter trading is no longer a modern approach in commerce but it is necessary to sell the surplus rice produced, he continued.

Under a sister-city programme, China will purchase 100,000 tonnes of good-quality rice from Myanmar. But, as there are only 11 mills inspected and certified by China, rice from only those mills can be exported.

In order to be able to export the full volume efficiently, another 99 rice mills are undergoing inspections, U Aung Htoo said.

According to a negotiation reached between the two countries, additional rice mills have been inspected by Myanmar Inspection and Testing Services (MITS) as a third party. However, the results are not yet available, said U Toe Aung Myint from MITS. Decision on the issue will be made at the next meeting on June 14.

“The price of the rice depends on its quality. Sometimes the price can be higher than the estimate,” said U Aung Soe. – Translated

Source: Myanmar Times

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