Tanintharyi govt proposes economic zone for fisheries

The Tanintharyi Region Government has submitted a proposal to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) for the construction of an economic zone focusing on the fisheries industry including a fish wholesale market, cold-storage facilities, and jetties for trade at the Myanmar and Thai border, according to U Khin Maung Lwin, assistant secretary at the Ministry of Commerce.

“Union-level discussions are taking place with Myeik Public Co, and the MIC is working on enabling the project to get off the ground as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the project aims to create job opportunities for Myanmar migrant workers and generate greater long term value for the local fisheries industry. Economic zone projects come under the purview of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. In the meantime, the ministry will work on initiating river catfish exports at the Myanmar, China border, said U Khin Maung Lwin.

Currently, though, the Myanmar seafood industry is using alternative and more expensive routes for their exports to China as a result of COVID-19 transportation difficulties. Myanmar Eel Entrepreneurs Association’s secretary U Tine Kyaw said that different provincial administrations in China have resulted in them having to use the Muse route for three months now, instead of the older Chin Shwe Haw route.

The move to expand comes after a decline in Myanmar’s fishery product exports due to COVID-19. In fiscal 2019-20, the industry generated just US$860 million in exports compared to a forecast of more than US$1 billion. The government is now also making efforts to promote domestic consumption of local fisheries. At a recent video conference, government officials from the Ministry of Commerce Tanintharyi, Yangon, Ayeyarwady, and Mandalay regions discussed ways to promote fish consumption and restructure the distribution system, such as utilizing refrigerated trucks to sell fish, prawns, and cuttlefish locally.

“We have carried out similar plans in Tanintharyi and now officials are discussing adopting this system in upper Myanmar,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Oo, chair of the Tanintharyi Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry. According to government forecasts, the local fish consumption rate can increase within two or three years if the ministries are successful in executing its plans, U Kyaw Kyaw Oo said. – Translated

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Source: Myanmar Times

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