Marine exports to Bangladesh halved

Dec 4, 2008 (DVB), Despite claims by ministers that the global economic crisis would not affect Burma, exports of marine products have halved recently and prices have also come down.

Burmese prime minister Thein Sein told a meeting of ministers, government officials and business leaders on Monday that the impact of the international financial crisis on Burma was negligible.

But according to a news journal published inside the country, exports of marine products have halved and prices have fallen.

A Burmese merchant based on the Burma-Bangladesh border confirmed the report.

"The Arakan fishing companies based here have stopped operating," he said.

"The main problem is competition over prices."

Burma had been exporting many types of fresh-water and sea fish and prawns to Bangladesh and neighbouring countries, amounting to US$ 17 million in revenues so far this year.

But currently only prawns and lobster are being exported, the merchant said.

Retired economics professor Maw Than said the fall in trade in Burma was the result of the global financial crisis.

"It is connected to the global recession," Maw Than said.

"Exports from Burma are affected by the economical decline throughout the world, which also affects the prices."

Maw Than said the drop in prices and exports could mean that prawns and lobsters, long absent from the domestic market, would now be available to consumers inside Burma.

Reporting by Shwe Aung

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