Myanmar and Indonesia are making efforts to promote the two countries' trade volume, which is targeted to reach up to 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, official media reported Wednesday.
During a meeting between Myanmar Minister of Commerce U Win Myint and visiting Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday, the two sides focused on signing a memorandum of understanding on rice trade, said the New Light of Myanmar.
According to earlier official report quoting the ministry, Indonesia has offered to buy 300,000 tons of rice from Myanmar and more amount will follow as demand for Myanmar rice in the Southeast Asian member country is on the rise.
Myanmar's rice export to Indonesia reached the peak between 2001-02 and 2005-06 but was almost none after 2005-06 for various reasons.
Myanmar could only export 2,125 tons of rice to Indonesia in the first three quarters of 2011-12 but it sharply increased to 1. 01 million tons in the same period of 2012-13.
"If that rate continues, Myanmar's rice export would hit 1.2 million tons, a record high in 40 years," a commerce official assumed.
Myanmar, which was once a major rice exporter, exported more than 1 million tons before 1956.
With a bilateral trade standing 472.96 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year of 2011-12, Indonesia was Myanmar's fourth largest trading partner among ASEAN members after Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, statistics show.
Myanmar's import from Indonesia took 431.82 million dollars, while its export to the Southeast Asian member country represented 40.94 million dollars during the year.
Indonesia is also striving to promote direct investment in Myanmar in such areas as infrastructure and tourism and boost cooperation in forestry, agriculture and fishery.
On Tuesday, Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with Rajasa and the pair discussed promotion of cooperation between the two countries in a wide range of sectors.