By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER
YANGON — Union Finance Minister U Kyaw Win said Friday the government was committed to take action on black market trade to protect the viability of private sector businesses in the country.
Speaking at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s regular meeting of Union ministers and business leaders, Kyaw Win said the government would work to reduce red tape introduce new policies to reduce corruption and bribery in cross-border trade.
“Illegal trade causes great hindrances to both businesspeople and the country,” he said, adding that lost revenue from black market trade was responsible for a significant loss in tax revenue.
“If we don’t take sharp action against people working illegally, the transformation in this country cannot be achieved.”
Black market trade is rampant in the national economy, from the unlicensed importation of pharmaceuticals and automobiles into Myanmar’s urban centres to the illicit export of timber and precious stones in the country’s border areas.
Commerce Minister U Than Myint told Union lawmakers in August planned to computerise Customs Department systems on popular overland trade routes in order to detect illegally-traded goods.
Speaking Friday, Kyaw Win said the government also planned to work with both the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups in order to crack down on illegal cross-border trade.