NAY PYI TAW — Myanmar’s trade deficit for the first six months of this fiscal year reached K 3,100 billion kyat (US$ 1.7 billion), up 27 percent compared with the same period last year, government sources confirmed Friday.
“The trade deficit this year is K 700 billion more compared to the same period last budget year,” said a report on the 2015-16 budget submitted to parliament by the Commission of Planning and Financial Development. “We need to review the trade policy,” suggested the report.
During the April to September period, the first half of Myanmar’s fiscal year which ends on March 31, total trade amounted to K 16,111 billion (US$ 8.7 billion), with imports exceeding the target.
Myanmar’s leading export item is natural gas, to neighbouring Thailand, but earnings have been on the decline due to falling petroleum prices. Other major exports include jade, rice, pulses and beans.
U Win Than, Union Parliament member from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, blamed the country’s ballooning trade deficit on an overreliance on natural resources for export earnings.
“More than 60 percent of our exports are natural resources,” he told parliament.