22.04.2024-26.04.2024 A Tate Papers

The Myawati border trade, which is important for Myanmar-Thailand trade, has been suspended due to the fighting, and the Military Council is planning to use the Ranang-Kawthaung-Rangoon waterway instead.


After the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) attacked and occupied military bases in Myawati, Karen State, at the beginning of this month (April), trade in the area was halted as the military launched a counter-offensive to regain control of the area.

Therefore, as a new way of border trade, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce under the Military Council announced on April 11 this year that it is planning to trade with container ships from the coastal ports on the Thai border to Yangon.


The 15-page statement on new border trade procedures aims to “overcome the situation of limited border trade”.

Tanintharyi, the southernmost part of the country, Kawthaung has a border trade station; Kawthaung is only separated from the Thai city of Ranong by the Pachang River, and can go to Yangon by container ships.


The statement stated that export and import companies will be able to trade goods through the Ranong Port to Thailand and other third countries under the supervision of departments under the Military Council.

Myanmar Now contacted the Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce to find out more about this program, but they did not answer the phone.

A business man from Tanintharyi, who did not want to be named, said that when the Myawati border route was suspended due to the fighting, the Myawati border traders have made many inquiries about the cargo ship running from Kawthaung-Rangoon.


“What cannot be exported or imported from Myawadi, they trade from the Ranong side to Yangon. As far as I know, corn and other things are exported from Yangon,” he said.

Previously, the Yangon-Kawthaung land route was longer, Due to the high cost, they mainly transport by water. He said the war council’s new plan might work, but the port of Ranang could only accommodate 2,700-ton ships and be limited.


A top trader at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) pointed out that trading activities, unlike investment activities, can change in a short period of time and if one channel is closed, another channel can be switched.

“The closure of border crossings will affect small and medium enterprises more. “Those who do big business will do it at a loose border if they don’t relax at this border,” he said.

Myawati on the border between Myanmar and Thailand. Tachilek, Kawthaung tassel umbrella There are 7 border trading posts namely Mau Taung and Mae Se.



Due to the Burmese-Thai border fighting, there is an opportunity to trade at Tachilek and Kawthaung gates, where the border trade routes are interrupted, but the Tachilek gate in eastern Shan is a long way to connect with the mainland.

The Kawthaung route can be connected by water, and another advantage for the military council is that the revolutionary groups have not yet been able to block the shipping industry.


In addition, the Kawthaung border exports aquatic products to neighboring Thailand and imports from Thailand, with a total trade of more than 234 million US dollars in the 2023-24 fiscal year, according to the Department of Commerce.

Myanmar has a total of 17 border stations that trade with neighboring countries, including Muse 105 miles on the Chinese border; easy gel Chin Shwe Ha, Myawady from the Thai border. 6 camps such as Mayse and Reed border camp on the Indian border have been occupied by the revolutionary groups.

As the border trade has been cut off, they are encouraging trade based on the port of Yangon. Traders from Mandalay and Muse have settled in Yangon and are connecting with buyers, according to traders.

For the military council, taxes and foreign income may be affected and imports may be cut off. On the other hand, traders say that trading partner countries have caused great damage.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Military Council is blabbering on its website that while the border gates are being abandoned due to the attack and occupation by the ethnic resistance groups, exports are being increased by large cargo ships from the ports of Yangon.