The Amber Road: Cross-Border Trade and the Regulation of the Burmite Market in Tengchong, Yunnan

Alessandro Rippa, Yi Yang
2017 TRaNS Trans -Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia  
This paper investigates the new and hitherto unstudied boom in cross-border Burmese amber (Burmite) trade between Myanmar and Tengchong, Yunnan province. Based on interviews with amber dealers and local officials, it describes how since 2012–13 the amber trade has become increasingly lucrative for Chinese and Myanmar traders, and has attracted a large number of people to Tengchong, which, within Yunnan, virtually monopolises the trade. After a brief historical introduction, the paper analyses
more » ... e conditions that, in both countries, have made the Burmite trade boom possible. It further describes the current composition of the amber market in both Myanmar and China, before analysing recent attempts to monitor and regulate the amber trade through the institution of the Tengchong Amber Association by the city's main amber traders in collaboration with local authorities.
doi:10.1017/trn.2017.7 fatcat:n3ykm6hrc5bm5lws36lhkv3gmm