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Foreign Firms Tap Myanmar Meat Market

Meat exporters from the United States, Brazil and Japan are looking to export quality meat to Myanmar and their representatives are in talks with Myanmar’s Meat Industry Board, according to Myanmar Livestock Federation (MLF).

“The United States is set to exempt tariffs on fishery or garment exports from our country and we will also have to allow their meat exports to maintain a good business relation and follow the rules of the WTO (World Trade Organization),” U Win Sein, vice chairperson of MLF told Myanmar Business Today.

“This won’t be a problem [for local players] if the imported meat are more expensive than local products. However, we need to be careful to prevent low quality products being imported with cheap prices,” he added.

Currently, high-quality pork and beef are coming into the country to supply the hospitality industry and other businesses that use such meats but only in a low quantity.

The negotiations with foreign meat industry representatives are focused on quality and credential assessments of the potential meat imports, MLF said.

“Our country is not able to produce the same quality as their meat. Beef for example is mostly produced from aging cows that were previously employed in cultivating fields. These meats are not soft and although they are compatible with the local cooking style, they are not suitable for grilling like foreign products. Besides, a social class willing to pay premiums for good food is growing, so there is a demand,” said Dr Than Hla, chairperson of Meat Industry Board.

MLF said it is working with relevant authorities to set up high tax barriers and quality and hygiene inspection processes to protect the local meat producers as well as consumers.

The Meat Industry Board was established in October last year to manage the meat imports into the country. The board is also cooperating with the government on preventing and seizing frozen meat smuggled into Myanmar from neighboring countries, especially Thailand and China.

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