On Thursday, the ministry of commerce reported the ASEAN rise in trade with Myanmar. The value of trade has surpassed $10.3 billion from December 2022 to the beginning of the year 2023.
The ministry of commerce added that the imports had surpassed the exports to $3.538 billion.
This is a huge relief in the ongoing upheaval in the country. Myanmar has become a major trading partner to ASEAN. This has been a major boost for the Myanmar economy.
Imports surpassed Exports in the last nine months
There has been tremendous growth in trade in the last nine months. The ministry reported that the imports had surpassed $6.77 billion. On the other hand, the exports have reached $3.538 billion. There are a few main export items for trade. The items are agricultural and fishery products, and minerals.
ASEAN on Myanmar’s Internal conflict
The 2021 military coup brought internal instability to the country. It put light on the weakening democratic structure of the country. The increase in criminal activities and violence. The growing power and presence of the military rule in the country.
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has followed its principle of not interfering in the internal matters of the sovereign country. However, ASEAN has been committed to ending the conflict and tensions in the country.
There has been little progress in the internal problem and military rule in the country. China has been supporting Myanmar’s military rule. On the other hand, western nations have criticised their aggressive actions openly. They released the strategy of Five-point consensus which is also known as the peace plan for Myanmar.
ASEAN five-point consensus (Peace Plan for Myanmar)
ASEAN and the regime of Myanmar agreed on the five points to bring peace. These five points were an immediate end to violence, creating dialogue (engagement talks) with all the concerned parties, create provisions to provide humanitarian assistance to Myanmar from ASEAN. Lastly, Bloc’s special envoy visited to meet all the concerned parties in Myanmar.
These were five-point of consensus to deal with the ongoing conflict in Myanmar. They were implemented a year ago, but they have not been successful and the call for all the parties has been rejected by Myanmar multiple times.
The recent reaction of Malaysia’s President to Myanmar’s crisis
ASEAN has been committed to bringing peace to the country. There have been many discussions with the top leaders of the country.
Malaysia hasn’t followed the ASEAN position of being quiet on internal matters. Malaysia has publicly voiced the abuse and criticised the concerns. There is a high need to implement the Five-point consensus to deal with the issues.
Malaysian president Anwar Ibrahim reacted to the Myanmar crisis while attending a summit in the Philippines. In a pre-recorded interview, he talked about the ASEAN diplomatic efforts in Myanmar.
The president of Malaysia also highlighted the refugee crisis. He also added Malaysia has given place to two lacks displaced people from Myanmar. He said the refugee crisis is creating stress for Malaysia.
International institutions have criticised human rights violations on several occasions.
In discussion with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos that there is a need for new approaches to resolve the conflict. He adds that this is an internal matter of the country, but ASEAN needs to be tough.