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17 Feb 08
Myanmar will allow opening of bank account in Singapore dollar in some state-run banks dealing with foreign currencies, a leading local media reported Sunday.
The state-operated banks, which are authorized to start such bank services beginning later this month, are designated as the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) and Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB), the Voice Weekly said.
Observers view that the introduction of Singapore dollar account will facilitate dealing with respect to financial and economic investment between Myanmar and Singapore, according to the weekly.
The Singapore dollar account stands after U.S. dollar’s and European dollar’s allowed by the Myanmar financial authorities to open in the country. However, transaction of U.S. dollar account were much affected ever since United States’ financial sanctions against Myanmar were introduced in 2003.
Since adoption of a market-oriented economic system in 1989, Myanmar private entrepreneurs have been allowed to freely engage in foreign trade and make investment as well as to open foreign currency accounts in state-owned foreign exchange banks such as the MFTB and the MICB for the undertakings.
The MFTB generally and mainly handles foreign currency transactions along with some private banks authorized for such transactions, while the MICB deals with foreign investment in the country.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is transforming a public bank — the Myanmar Citizen Bank into an export-import bank to facilitate exporters and importers in the country in carrying out their international trading activities.
Besides the central bank, some state economic banks and cooperatives’ bank, there are also Myanmar Livestock Breeding and Fishery Development Bank, Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank and Myanmar Industrial Development Bank for respective entrepreneurs as well as 15 private banks in the country at present.
The Myanmar commerce authorities has urged over 10,000 registered private trading companies in the country to function fully to boost foreign trade.
According to official statistics, Myanmar’s foreign trade hit nearly 8 billion U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2006-07, according to figures of the Ministry of Commerce. The 7.92 billion dollars’ foreign trade volume gained in 2006-07 registered a new record high in 18 years since 1989.
A latest statistics reveal that in the first five months of 2007-08, Myanmar’s foreign trade attained 4.11 billion dollars, of which its export stood over 2.886 billion dollars, while its import over 1.224 billion.