Sunday, December 30, 2007

Questioning Burma's richest trading partners

Two rich developed countries conduct a sizable amount of trade with Burma. In 2008, what will be Japan's excuse for having written Burma another check for $120 million? What will be Singapore's excuse for having earned another $850 million selling goods to Myanmar?

BURMA EXPORTS $2.3 billion
in gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems.
Destination: Thailand 48.8%, India 12.7%, China 5.2%, Japan 5.2%

BURMA IMPORTS $5.3 billion in fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment; cement, construction materials, crude oil; food products, edible oil
Source: China 35.1%, Thailand 22.1%, Singapore 16.4%, Malaysia 4.8%

The United States is party to a bilateral free trade agreement with Singapore. It would be interesting to know if Myanmar indirectly benefits from this arrangement (FYI, here is the "United States - Singapore Free Trade Agreement").

Note: "Import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India."
Source: CIA World Factbook. All figures are for 2006.

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