Rampant smuggling holds back Myanmar economy

Illegal smuggling of goods across its borders has become a serious challenge to Myanmar's effort to modernize its economy, undermining healthy growth of markets and eroding tax revenues.

Aung Moe Kyaw, chairman of International Beverages Trading, which started co-producing beer with Dutch company Heineken last year, views smuggled beer as a bigger threat than competition from domestic rivals.

The home-grown beverage giant is generally doing well, with plans to expand production facilities this year. But illegal imports from neighboring countries such as Thailand are a source of headaches.