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'India-Myanmar trade hit by lack of information' Study

July 04, 2016, New Delhi, DHNS 1:18 IST

Study also says most goods have third country origin

The study was conducted amid efforts to enhance border trade and investment under India's 'Act East' policy.  Reuters File Photo for representation.
A Centre-sponsored study has highlighted that India-Myanmar commerce along the border is severely constrained by lack of information on number of goods which could be traded.

The study was conducted amid efforts to enhance border trade and investment under India’s ‘Act East’ policy.

It has also said that most of the goods that are traded have third country origin, mainly China, due to low cost and illegal trading.

Besides, it has brought to notice that too many check points, extortion and illegal taxation have become an impediment to trade between the two neighbours. It has suggested the government to optimise a number of check points to smoothen the trade flow.

“It is still perceived that only 62 items are permitted for trade whereas two important developments have taken place since the operationalisation of border trade agreement. These are shift from barter to normal trade and from border to normal trade that can take place through land border,” the study on India-Myanmar border trade by Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) said.

“Adequate information and advisory services are required to create awareness about the border trade,” Ram Upendra Das, Professor at RIS, who authored the study, told DH.
He said “trade deflection” was a major problem at the border whereby third country goods are easily deflected and traded in areas close to border.

“This is primarily in the form of electronic goods of Chinese and Thai origin getting seeped through the border into India,” he said.

To address the issue without affecting the demand-supply dynamics in the border region, the government must implement a system of certificate of origin (COO) and its adequate checking at customs check-points, according to the author.

The study has also highlighted that trade in services from which India can gain significantly, has not been paid attention to in the context of border trade.

Currently, information technology, education, tourism, health and transport are the sectors in which India and Myanmar trade their services. This can be extended to education and vocational training and technological transfers in power, infrastructure and healthcare, it said.

Currently, information technology, education, tourism, health and transport are sectors in which India and Myanmar trade services.


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