Manage legal trade for economic stability, livelihood preservation

The global economy bears a significant burden due to the rampant expansion of illegal trade, causing a staggering 8-15 per cent loss and waste in the Gross Domestic Product. The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade highlights the dire consequences, emphasizing that the billions of USD invested from illegal trade into other illicit activities fuel instability in the economic sector, ultimately financing terrorism and posing a grave threat to global security.


It is imperative to respond robustly to this crisis by taking severe action against illegal traders and exposing their illicit meas­ures. This requires a comprehensive approach considering trade, economic, and security measures tailored to the specific needs of each country and its people. In Myanmar, illegal traders blatantly violate laws, prioritizing their self-interest over the welfare of the nation, necessitating immediate attention.


Direct consequences of illegal trade include a decline in pro­ductivity and profits, reduction in legal businesses on an annual basis, hindrance to economic development, and the dwindling of production, sale, and import processes of legal businesses due to unfair competition from illegal trade. This, in turn, leads to a degra­dation of job opportunities and diminished investment, espe­cially in developing countries. The most severe consequence manifests as criminal gangs emerging in connection with illicit trade measures.


Indirect impacts are equally distressing, with ille­gal fishing depleting natural fish resources, jeopardizing businesses, and threatening the livelihoods of communities dependent on them. Gangs re­sort to forced labor on illegal fishing trawlers, contributing to the deterioration of ecosystems through illegal wood cutting and timber trade. Illegal trade poses threats to societies and animals relying on forests and forestry businesses, while the use of counterfeit pesticides compounds the issue, resulting in agricultural losses and en­vironmental degradation. The pervasive use of low-quality pesticides accelerates the de­cline in environmental quality.


To counter these multifac­eted challenges, concerted efforts are required. Authentic incomes for businesses and legitimate revenues for governments contribute to societal prosperity by alleviating the burden of high commodity prices. Therefore, a collaborative effort between citizens and local authorities is indispensable to eradicate illegal trade comprehen­sively, fostering the growth of legal businesses and ensuring the well-being of the populace.


Authentic incomes of businesspersons and real revenues of the government will help improve prosperity of the society, reducing prices of commodities as high prices of various goods and medi­cines are the burden of the people. As such, all citizens of Myanmar have to join hands with local authorities in eradicating illegal trade measures in all aspects for booming the legal businesses.

By Min (Law)