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December 9, 2008

Myanmar, India to trade in euros, Singapore dollars
Myanmar and India will use euros and Singapore dollars in direct trade transactions as an alternative means to settle credit accounts between the banks of India and Myanmar when Myanmar is under United States' financial sanctions, the Myanmar Times, one of the leading local weekly reported Monday.

Quoting the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the report said payments for bilateral trade will be conducted through the United Bank of India and three state-run Myanmar banks -- Myanmar Investment and Commerce Bank, Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and Myanmar Economic Bank.

Myanmar exported 1.34 million tons of various beans and pulses to India in the fiscal year 2007-08 which ended in March, earning about 700 million dollars, official statistics show.

The majority of these beans and pulses were exported to India through Singapore dealers to settle the letters of credit account in US dollars owing to the US trade sanctions.

Last month, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the State Trading Corporation of India agreed to maintain regular trade deal on beans and pulses with the Indian side proposing to purchase Myanmar quality beans and pulses at international current prices on a monthly basis.

India stands as Myanmar's second largest export market after Thailand and the fourth largest trading partner after Thailand, China and Singapore.

Myanmar-India bilateral trade reached $995 million in the fiscal year of 2007-08 with Myanmar's exports to India accounting for $810 million while its imports stood $185 million, registering a trade surplus of $625 million.

The Myanmar compiled figures also show that India's contracted investment in Myanmar reached $219.57 million as of June 2008, of which $137 million were drawn into the oil and gas sector in September last year.

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