EXPORT of fishery products from Sittway to Bangladesh, which was suspended almost three months due to the skyrocketing infection rate of the COVID-19 disease, has resumed since 18 October, opening up business opportunities for fish farmers and entrepreneurs.
In the 2019-2020 financial year, 7,093.413 metric tons of freshwater fish worth US$ 6.318 million were imported through this border. As the COVID-19 cases were on the rise, exports from Rakhine State to Bangladesh were suspended from 15 July 2021, while 5,010.7 metric tons of freshwater fish worth $ 4.760 million were shipped to Bangladesh. Through two border trade posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar mainly exports onion, tamarind, dried plum, dried fish and freshwater Rohu fish, and about 70 per cent of the export value of Rakhine State is the freshwater Rohu fish.
The regional government of Rakhine State has made efforts to reopen two suspended trade posts in Rakhine State and it was allowed to reopen under the COVID-19 rules and regulations by the State Administration Council on 12 October 2021. Following the coordination meeting of the Ministers of the Rakhine State government, officials from relevant departments and the Rakhine State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, border trade camps have been opened since 14 October with amended regulations to revive the border trade.
Fishing vessels from Yangon have arrived in Sittway on 17 October and the Rakhine State Fisheries Department has conducted necessary screenings. Beginning 18 October, 44.80 metric tons of freshwater Rohu fish worth $ 53,904 were exported to Bangladesh.
Reopening of the border trade camps in Rakhine State is benefiting fish farmers in Yangon and Ayeyawady regions whose farms were affected amid a surge in the COVID-19 outbreak, in addition to generating foreign income for the country and opening business opportunities to fish farmers, entrepreneurs, and residents.—Nyein Thu (MNA)/ GNLM