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January 8, 2009

Myanmar: Trade surplus drops as gas exports fall
Myanmar's trade surplus shrank in the first nine months of last year on lower exports of gas, the Associated Press reported, quoting official statistics.

Figures from the Ministry of National Planning and Development, seen Tuesday, show the surplus dived more than 39 percent to $1.72 billion from $2.83 billion in the same period of 2007.

Imports rose 28.1 percent to $2.97 billion from $2.32 billion in January to September 2007, while exports dropped 8.9 percent to $4.69 billion from $5.15 billion.

The report says that natural gas exports, which account for about 40 percent of all export revenues, dropped 28.5 percent in value to $1.69 billion from $2.36 billion.

Myanmar's gas exports go to neighboring Thailand.

The United States and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions against Myanmar to pressure the military government to improve human rights and release detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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