THE TRADE OF BURMA.
BY B. C. KRALL, Superintendent of the Statistical Department, Burma Customs.
HE sea-board of Burma has been visited for centuries by vessels from various countries. In the twelfth century Bassein was a flourishing port, and at a later period Asiatic races were in constant touch with Arakan, Pegu, and Tenasserim. About the fourteenth century, a brisk trade was carried on between Pegu and the countries east and west. Goods of European and other manufacture were
ware. Tin was exported from Tenasserim.
Soon after the second Anglo-Burmese War, in 1852, Rangoon came into prominence, and has been the chief port of the province ever since. The largest trade was carried on with Calcutta in the early days, owing to the great demand in that market for teak, and the facility with which the Burmese were supplied with British and Indian piece-goods from that port.
Burma owes her prosperity to the rice
1908-9 were valued at 2*83 crores as against 2*90 crores in the previous year.
The foreign sea-borne trade of Burma is carried by the vessels of the Bibby, Patrick Henderson, Hausa, British India Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., and other lines. The bulk of the coasting trade of the province is monopolised by the British India Steam Navigation Company, which links the province with all the principal commercial ports of the sea-board of the Indian Empire, besides
brought to Burma by Arabs, and large boats visited ports in Bengal. The chief exports from Bassein and Pegu were gold, silver, rubies, sapphires, long-pepper, lead, tin, lac, and sugar. Woollen cloths, scarlet velvet, and opium were the principal imports from Arabia and the Persian Gulf ; and various kinds of piece-goods were brought from Madras and Bengal. The trade of Mergui and Martaban was with Malacca and places to the eastward, the imports being porcelain from China, camphor from Borneo, and pepper from Achin. Rice wTas the principal export from Arakan, the imports being cutlery, piece-goods, glassware, and crOckery-
produce and the exports of this staple. Rice and paddy together represent about three-fourths of the total exports. During the past two official years the exports of rice and paddy from the province were :a Foreign trade.
1907-8 .... 29,211,751 14,12,95,764
1908-9 ... 21,899,130 10,01,67,401
1907-8 ... 19,820,399 970,93.898
1908-9 ... 23,217,634 12,07,56,417 Petroleum has of late years sprung into
importance. The exports of petroleum products from Rangoon during the official year
furnishing steamer services along the Burma coast from Akyab to Mergui. The Asiatic Steam Navigation Company also is engaged in the coasting trade, and connects Rangoon with the Andaman Islands and several ports in India.
The declared Customs ports in Burma are Rangoon (chief port), Akyab, Bassein, Mergui, Moulmein, Sandoway, Tavoy, Kyaukpyu, and Victoria Point. Maungdaw has lately been declared a Customs port, but its trade is included with that of Akyab, and is not separately exhibited, as in the case of the other seaports. A Customs warehouse has been established at Bhamo since theThe declared Customs ports in Burma are Rangoon (chief port), Akyab, Bassein, Mergui, Moulmein, Sandoway, Tavoy, Kyaukpyu, and Victoria Point. Maungdaw has lately been declared a Customs port, but its trade is included with that of Akyab, and is not separately exhibited, as in the case of the other seaports. A Customs warehouse has been established at Bhamo since the