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Issues & Insights Vol. 19, WP 15 – National Models for Managing Trade of Strategic Goods

The largest country in mainland Southeast Asia with a population of 53 million and located strategically between China and India, Myanmar plays a significant role geographically, economically and politically in the most rapidly advancing region in the world. As Myanmar opens up, investment and trade have grown significantly. Trade policies have been, and continue to be, revised in line with regional and global commitments and in accordance with liberal principles.

According to UNSCR 1540, UN member countries have a responsibility to control the transfer, transit and production of WMD and related materials. As a UN member country, Myanmar should implement UNSCR 1540 for regional and international peace and security through the trade sector.

Today, Myanmar has the capability to produce high-tech, value-added commodities acting as a transit and transshipment area within ASEAN. Myanmar uses its own national export and import control system in border and overseas areas. But there are no specific or effective means for controlling and checking sensitive goods. For these reasons, this paper offers policy recommendations for the future control of the export and import of sensitive goods and a model for implementation of Myanmar’s future strategic trade controls.

This paper investigates an “ideal system” to ascertain the driving force behind the creation of an export control regime in Myanmar. It draws on the experience of four countries’ export control systems to understand and support effective ways of thinking when implementing a national export control system. Most importantly, this paper supports options for the decision-making process of which model is suitable for the current national system.