During an event organised early February by the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade And Development), it was revealed that Myanmar’s illicit trade value is about USD 6.4 billion every year. This staggering figure only reflects trade on official routes and is just the tip of the iceberg.
For reference, the total border trade is USD 4 billion from October 1st to February 7th (+ USD 580 million year on year).
Despite establishing anti-illicit trade special task forces, Myanmar has specific difficulties controlling illegal trade. Long borderlines, insecurity and weak capacity make it difficult to effectively tackle the issue in nine states and regions of the country. Illegally traded goods include wildlife trafficking, smuggling of alcohol and tobacco.
The challenge facing Myanmar was underscored by findings from the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index, a study commissioned by TRACIT (Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade), which ranked the country 82nd out of 84 countries evaluated on their ability to inhibit illicit trade.