Burmese traders in a spot due to lower exchange rate

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14 June 2011: Traders operating along the No. 2, Indo-Burma border road are in a spot due to a drop in the rate of the Kyat vis a vis the Indian Rupee after the new government came to power in Burma.

The exchange rate is down from Kyat 20 to Kyat 16 in relation to the Indian rupee. So, the traders operating on the Indo-Burma border area are in a fix. These traders operate between Burma and Mizoram state, northeast India, said a Burmese trader from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.

“We collect goods from the China-Burma border areas. The price of goods is also increasing by the day. To make matters worse the Burmese government collects taxes at various places, making most traders lose their capital,” said a trader.

The traders on the Indo-Burma border area have been depending on the rate of exchange, and they are severely affected. Business will have to be stopped for some time, said a trader.

Some traders on the Indo-Burma border area have stopped trade from Burma to Mizoram. The price of Burmese goods has also increased.

“I know that 4 or 5 traders have stopped work because it is not possible to continue trade because of the lower rates. We will rest for awhile, even though we are in debt,” said a trader.

Most Chin traders use the Indo-Burma trade road to export Burmese goods to Mizoram like plastic items, clothing and home utility goods. The goods are traded from Shweli market, central and exported to Mizoram through the No.2 Indo-Burma road.

The general goods store owners purchase from Chin traders on credit and need to wait a long time to get back the money from buyers.

“We cannot sell our goods all at once to get money. We are into the credit system and repay when buyers pay us. We have to wait at least one or two months, and have to spend money during the waiting period to repay our debt. Now, we are facing a problem because of the lower exchange rate,” said a trader. – Khonumthung News

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