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Most illicit trades were believed to involve smuggling through border trade routes.

NAYPYDAW: The government will intensify efforts to curb illegal trade with key strategies to be implemented by the authorities.

To do this, it has formed the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee, which will focus on promoting cooperation between departments, according to The Myanmar Times.

Vice-president U Myint Swe said the steering committee would ensure strict control of illegal trade, boost local micro, small and medium businesses, better collection of revenue, prevention of bribery and ensure fair trade practices.

He said this in a meeting with the Private Sector Development Committee attended by representatives from government agencies and the private sector recently.

The development committee was formed in 2016 to help solve challenges faced by the private sector through better
coordination between government ministries, state and regional authorities and the business sector.

U Myint Swe said illegal trade at border areas had serious impacts on local small and medium businesses and urged to step up efforts to combat the problem.

This was where the steering committee played an important role, he said.

The European Chamber of Commerce had released results of a study on illicit trade in Myanmar in September.

It claimed customs data from Thailand, China, India and other countries, revealed a total of US$25.12 billion worth of goods were illegally exported into the country last year.

Most illicit trades were believed to involve smuggling through border trade routes.

The European Chamber of Commerce also claimed that the main driver of illegal trade was profit from evading taxes.

Another was the restriction on the legal imports of certain goods.

The Private Sector Development Committee has formed special units to curb illegal imports in nine states and regions.

These units prevented 1,065 attempts to smuggle goods from Sept 2018 to Oct 2019.

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