May 4, 2011

The government changes import/export license system, opens up the market for palm oil

The process of applying for an import/export permit, which previously required the permission of the Trade Council before being granted, a Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) official said last week.

Now the Ministry of Commerce alone will grant these licences, he said.

“This will speed up the application process,” he said.

The previous five-step application process took at least eight days but would often take one month or longer, said one businessman.

He added that many businesspeople hired agents to handle the application procedure because it was faster and more convenient.

“The new system should make the whole process much faster,” he said.

Dr Myat Nyana Soe, an Amyotha Hluttaw representative from the National Democratic Force (NDF), welcomed the move to abolish the Trade Council.

“This is an important step towards [the creation of] a true and vibrant market economy,” he said.

Another economic change is the opening up of the palm oil market. At present, Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd has a monopoly on the lucrative import of palm oil but the UMFCCI official said the ministry is accepting applications from other parties to import this commodity.

Source: Myanmar Times