Myanmar trade deficit rises

YANGON - Myanmar's quarterly trade deficit reached over US$1.4 billion (45.5 billion baht), as the economy continues to open up to foreign investment, the government said Wednesday.

The value of exports — including oil, gas and timber — during April-June was more than $2.2 billion, but $3.6 billion was spent on imports, the Central Statistical Organisation said.

"Due to the decrease in exports of timber, fisheries and mineral products, Myanmar is likely to suffer a trade deficit for the whole year," said Maung Maung Lay, vice chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The deficit grew by $1 billion compared to the same period last year, according to government data.

The country's main exports are agricultural and farm products, minerals, timber, industrial products and oil and gas. It relies heavily on imported machinery, consumer products, commodities and raw materials.

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