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Myanmar to form special task forces to combat illegal trade

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Myanmar will form special task forces to curb illegal trade and will conduct surprise check with mobile teams at some main gates, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported Sunday.

Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe told a private sector development committee meeting on Saturday that small and medium enterprises (SME) suffered from illicit trading while paying tax as they cannot keep up with non-competitive import practices whereby foreign companies undercut Myanmar's domestic producers by flooding the market with cheap surplus goods.

Minister of Commerce Dr. Than Myint said the special mobile teams will start operation in Kachin, Shan, Kayin and Mon states and Tanintharyi region, calling for support from the private sector in the move.

SME is a key player to drive up the country's economy as it accounts for over 90 percent of total enterprises.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, in 2017-18 fiscal year, Myanmar's foreign trade was worth 33.52 billion US dollars with the private sector performing 27.24 billion dollars or over 81 percent of the total trade value.

From April to June 2018, Myanmar's foreign trade amounted to 7.98 billion US dollars, of which the private sector accounted for 6.92 billion dollars or 87 percent.

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