Myanmar has moved to protect local producers from overseas competition as growth projections for the country’s economy are slashed due to COVID-19.
The president Office released notification (83/2020) on July 1, stating that the law of Protection from Increased Import Volume enacted in 2019 will take immediate effect.
The law is expected to promote protection of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and control the volume of products which are imported into the country unnecessarily, said U Aung Thein, chair of the Myanmar Industrial Association.
In order to inspect if local production is affected by increased import volumes, any rate of increase, the share of local production volumes, sales, productivity, profits and losses and conditions of employment will be monitored and protection measures taken to protect local producers.
The measures include implementation provisional protection duties and import volume restrictions. The protection committee will be led by the Union Minister of Commerce, and the chair of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) will be included as a member of the committee representing the private sector.
Fuel, vehicles, construction materials and food products are among the highest imports in Myanmar.
Following the easing of restrictions on travelling in Myanmar, domestic fuel consumption has risen by more the 60 percent since April and fuel prices are expected to remain on the upside.
“Fuel stockpiles have run out and currently, orders are being placed in the market,” said U Min Aung Khant, CEO of MK High Class Fuel Distribution.
This is happening at a time when global demand is also rising as countries emerge from lockdown. As such global oil prices have also been on the rise.
“Domestic prices will depend on international prices,” said U Myint Win, head of the Myanmar Fuel Oil Importers and Distributors Association. – Additional reporting by Zeyar Hein.
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