.August 31, 2005
Crude oil price tops $70, how is Burma doing?
eases trade restrictions in mid July after cheating among export
earners and top Generals’ relatives realized, according to report
New Era Journal News. Normally export licenses were allowed to
those who have export earnings. In which 80% of available earnings
must import the mandatory items set by government, then only 20%
will go for others. With new rules, there is no more priority
item. Again in early August, any source of foreign earnings after
paying taxes to government also allowed for imports. Consequently,
those legal earners can open US$ account in Myanmar Foreign Trade
The reasons for new policies are skeptical, some business
misconducts might have actually been occurred but the main reason
of changing economics policy could be meaning more than that.
Since the impact of non-stop sky rocket oil prices severely
effects most of the emerging countries’ economy, there is no doubt
to seriously hit Burma economy as needing more dollars for oil.
According to 1993 data of CIA World Fact Book, Burma imports oil
about 50,000 barrels a day. The number could have been double in
year 2005. The oil prices, on the other hand, increase more than
double compare to June 2004 – see
www.nymex.com. Recently rising Chinese Yuan value ceases most
business transactions in Burmese major cities and finally lead
prices increased. Border trades closure with Thai made short in
supply that also led Thai merchandises price higher.
Thus, a changing economics policy looks more like to attract more
foreign currency inflows to government bank (MFTB) to compensate
shortage foreign exchange needs rather than preventing business
misconducts. Normally, foreign workers earnings inflow via
underground money transfers. Easing import regulations encourage
supply increases. Availability of more supplies in the market,
other things being equal, leads to price drops if properly handle
the changing policy. But the of Generals’ business handlings
history has never been indicated positive ever.
The point here is not to analyze over changing business policies.
But to highlight SPDC economics troubles. As long-time EU and US
economics sanctions led SPDC in trouble, the exponential oil
prices fuel more hardships to SPDC. Dollar needs for oil can no
longer be covered by drug dollars whereas higher China Yuan makes
lessen import extensive border trade incomes along with slower
business transactions. So the changing economics policy clearly
indicates that SPDC is in deep economics trouble.
SPDC hardships are opportunities for Democratic forces. This is a
better time to step up giving out more pressures SPDC to make
positive change. It is cheerful to see number of Burmese
Democratic groups keep carrying out frequent movements around the
world. It is going to be more effective if all the individual
groups combined as a whole pressuring SPDC under one leader at the
same time. Since our leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is still under
house arrest, also the domestic forces have slim chance to make a
huge movement under SPDC cruelties, the oversea forces have better
chances to push SPDC in such a time. But it will be successful
when all clusters are under one leadership in abroad as once did