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Myanmar Rubber Forum 2018

The Myanmar Rubber Forum 2018, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, took place at Hotel Max in Nay Pyi Taw from March 20 to March 21.

The event, spearheaded by Vice President Henry Van Thio, was attended by Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu, Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, chairpersons of the parliamentary committees, foreign experts, members of parliament, state and regional ministers, departmental heads, representatives from the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA), businesspersons and other invited guests.

Delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the forum, Vice President Henry Van Thio said the government and the private sector must cooperate to develop the rubber sector and work together with foreign businesses as well. A strategic plan must be in place to produce natural rubber and develop the midstream (logistics) and downstream (distribution and selling) sectors of the rubber industry, as well as encourage more research on natural rubber, he said.

Myanmar exports almost all of its domestic rubber output to foreign countries, with 70 per cent going to China, according to the MRPPA. It also exports rubber to regional neighbours such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in addition to China. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and India also buy Myanmar rubber in small quantities. The MRPPA said the country was exporting more than 90 per cent of locally produced rubber, allocating the rest of a mere 8 per cent for local use. M y a n m a r p r o d u c e s a n a n n u a l 200,000 tonnes of rubber, and only approximately 80,000 tonnes is being exported through formal trade, with the rest going on informal trade, according to industry stakeholders. The country accounts for only 1.6 per cent of the global rubber production, said the statistics of the Ministry of Commerce.