The government of Mynamar has given the go-ahead for companies in Myanmar to import wood raw materials.
U Kyaw Zaw, director of the office of the Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental conservation, said, “A plan to permit the importation of raw timber from overseas has been approved.” As a sign of support, U Kyaw Zaw has recommended that the duty on imported timber raw materials be lowered.
Myanmar stopped exporting logs in fiscal 2014-15 and has temporarily suspended logging as part of a plan to rehabilitate its forests, but this has deprived domestic mills of raw materials and could cause a shortage of wood products in the country.
To ease the situation, the Myanmar Timber Enterprise intends to continue selling existing stocks of Teak and hardwoods during 2016-17 to meet the needs of local mills, but traders in the timber industry require the importation of timber raw materials to keep mills in full production. Natural forest harvesting is expected to resume in fiscal 2017-18 financial but harvest levels could be only sufficient for domestic needs.
Timber trader U Bar Bar Cho said buying timber raw materials from overseas sources could support the government’s plan to limit domestic logging. He pointed out that some imported timber were cheaper than the domestically produced and if imports were permitted, end-users and consumers would benefit from lower prices.