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Warmly welcome Kyat-Rouble payment system for both countries

THE introduction of the Kyat-Rouble payment system marks a significant step towards strengthening the bilateral ties between Myanmar and Russia. This innovative payment system, based on the Myanmar currency Kyat and the Russian currency Rouble, has been launched with the primary aim of facilitating seamless trade between the two nations.

This initiative not only signifies the growing warmth in Myanmar-Russia relations but also promises to enhance the efficiency of their trade processes to start on 1 October 2023. Both countries recognize the need to establish a foreign exchange system that enables the use of their respective currencies for trade transactions. Both sides will find it easier to navigate the challenges of payment without being solely reliant on the US dollar.

Bilateral trade between Myanmar and Russia has been on a steady rise, thanks to the concerted efforts of their state leaders and governments. Negotiations have taken place, focusing particularly on economic cooperation, including bilateral trade. As a new chapter unfolds, the two nations are planning to implement a card-based payment system.

The Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) has taken steps to implement the MIR Card System. In this regard, MPU has signed the National Payment Cards System Agreement 03: Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with its Russian counterpart. Furthermore, MPU has established a network connection with MIR to conduct host-to-host connectivity testing. This collaborative effort is poised to free both countries from the compulsory reliance on the US dollar.

In Russia, the e-payment card system known as MIR operates under the supervision of the National Payment Card System-NSPK, resembling the TM cards of private banks. Full integration of the MIR system with MPU in Myanmar will enable all banks in Myanmar to offer this system, ensuring enhanced customer convenience. Myanmar has already agreed to similar payment systems with China, Thailand, and India, involving Kyat-Yuan, Kyat-Baht, and Kyat-Rupee transactions.

This payment system is set to go live in October, with participation from six private banks in Myanmar. These banks will be required to open accounts in Russia to facilitate the implementation of the new payment system. Business communities in both countries eagerly await the rollout of this system, which is expected to bring substantial benefits to their respective economic sectors.

The initiation of the Myanmar-Russia payment system was announced during the Myanmar Head of State’s visit to Russia while attending the Far East Economic Forum in 2022. This milestone deserves a warm welcome from all quarters as it not only strengthens diplomatic relations but also promises to foster economic cooperation, thereby dismantling barriers in bilateral trade.