The Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Russian Federation signed a trade agreement in September 2016 at a meeting of the Russia-Myanmar Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (RMIC) to facilitate trade between the two nations. At the RMIC, Myanmar’s Minister for Planning and Finance, U Kyaw Win, met with Russian commission chair Minister Maksim Oreshkin and both counterparts signed the agreement on behalf of their respective nations.
The agreement is attributed to a meeting between President U Htin Kyaw and President Vladimir Putin at the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Russia in 2016 and a significant increase in bilateral trade volume between the two nations over the past two years.
Since 2016, bilateral trade between Russia and Myanmar has doubled. In 2016, bilateral trade volume was estimated at US$158.3 million. The Russian Embassy in Yangon has indicated that this is a 100 percent increase in bilateral trade volumes experienced in 2015.
Key details about the agreement include:
Russia will be permitted to establish a trade representative office in Yangon for the purpose of encouraging bilateral trade and investment between Myanmar and Russia;
The trade office will identify market opportunities in Myanmar and guide Myanmar businesses and Russian businesses on how they can collaborate;
The agreement encourages joint-project initiatives for Russian and Myanmar businesses;
Promotion of Russian exports in the technology sector;
Establishment of a mechanism to resolve commercial disputes;
Russia will increase quotas allowing more Myanmar students to study in Russia every year;
The trade office will assist Myanmar exporters in trading goods to Russia and markets located in member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union;
The agreement also intends to increase bilateral trade turnover to US$500 million in the next three years;
The trade office is expected to become operational by the end of 2018.
Russia views Myanmar as a significant step in extending its position in the ASEAN market.
Rory J. Lang, Duane Morris & Selvam LLP