Htoo Trading; only company with timber export license
August 17, 2006- Ten trucks laden with timber on Wednesday night crossed the Sino-Burmese border from the Burmese border town of Muse in northern Shan State and headed for Kyae Gaung in China, sources on the border told Mizzima.
The trucks, which can carry at least 15 logs each, are owned by Tayza, a Rangoon based Burmese business tycoon, according to sources.
Tayza's Htoo trading company, which is reportedly the only company that has obtained the license to export timber to China, has been exporting timber at least twice a month and in return imports construction material such as cement and hardware.
However, an official of Htoo trading in Rangoon rejected reports of exporting timber to China and dismissed rumours of being the only timber exporting license holder.
"Its nothing like that, Htoo receives contracts for timber and every buyer takes them to their respective countries. It depends on which country buys. If China imports timber than the company would export to China," an official of Htoo trading in Rangoon, Win Oo told Mizzima.
"There has been no export of timber to China in recent times. We are mainly focusing on India and Bangladesh. And our company does not actually export it but companies from other countries come and buy them. It depends on which country is buying," added Win Oo.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 tons of timber, apart from over 3,000 tons of timber seized by the authorities in northern Shan State town of Muse, will soon be auctioned, according to a businessman in the border town.
Currently, a ton of timber on the border costs over 8,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US $ 1,000).
The businessman added that the business community on the Sino-Burmese border are hopeful that timber logging and exporting to China would be back to normal once the cases of the Chinese workers, who were arrested by Burmese authorities, is settled.
Following a report released by Global Witness on the deteriorating environmental situation in Burma caused by logging, the Chinese authorities since early this year banned logging and import of timber from Burma.
The Burmese authorities reciprocated the move by banning all logging companies, including ethnic ceasefire groups, who engage in illegal logging, from exporting timber to China.
Link to original news report