Trade activity at Muse-Mang Wein crossing point, which performed the majority of trade between Myanmar and China, is expected to resume after the upcoming Chinese New Year in 2023, said U Min Thein, vice chair of Muse Rice Wholesale Centre.
China has restricted border access through Mang Wein border point amid the COVID-19 cases since 30 March 2021. This being so, it was about one year and nine months that the trade at Mang Wein was suspended. The border checkpoint is yet to be reopened.
Since April 2022, China has shut down the Ruili-Kyalgaung crossing point and it was eased on 10 December 2022.
Following the reopening of Kyalgaung border, the checkpoints linking to Kyalgaung crossing point in Muse trade post (Nantaw, Sinphyu and Mang Wein) are likely to be reopened soon, traders engaged in Muse border forecast.
“On 10 December, Kyalgaung crossing point was reopened. Both people from Shweli (Ruili) and Kyalgaung are free to pass the point. It raised expectations of traders for the reopening of Mang Wein, Nantaw and Sinphyu checkpoints. Speculation about resumption of cross border trade at those points is going around,” U Min Thein said.
On 18 October, Myanmar’s officials and counterparts from Tathong, Yunnan Province negotiated the promotion of bilateral cross-border trade and reopening of Mang Wein checkpoint through a video conferencing.
Prior to the pandemic, Kyalgaung was the busiest and biggest trade post and it performed the highest trade in the China-Myanmar border.
Those traders involved in Muse trade zone are relying on the Ruili city. There is a direct trade channel to Ruili through Kyalgaung point so the traders have a smooth transport. This route brings easier and better access to Ruili from Muse border post. Only when the Kyalgaung border post is reopened can the trade boost, traders elaborated.
China shut down all the checkpoints linking to Muse border amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the checkpoints, Kyinsankyawt has resumed trading activity from 26 November 2021. Myanmar daily delivers rice, broken rice, pulses, rubber, watermelon, fishery products, chilli pepper and other food commodities to China through Kyinsankyawt with about 100 trucks and building materials, electrical appliances, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer, household goods and industrial raw materials are imported into the country with 40 trucks.
Myanmar has opened five border trade posts with China; Muse, Lweje, Kanpaiti, Chinshwehaw and Kengtung. Majority of the trade is carried out through Muse post, Ministry of Commerce’s data indicated. —NN/EMM