Feb 11, 2013

EU to boost trade with Myanmar

European Union (EU) is in ongoing discussion with Myanmar to form a chamber of commerce to boost trade, according to officials.

European delegation met on February 4 with Myanmar officials at the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, and discussed the legal framework for the formation of Myanmar-EU Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Trade between Myanmar and European 27 countries thrived during 1990 to 2004, but later EU imposed economic sanctions on Myanmar mainly due to its violation of human rights.

Towards the end of last year, European countries gradually eased its sanctions on Myanmar in view of political and economic reforms in the country.

EU is now trying to engage again with Myanmar. It has now pledged to offer a tax advantage to Myanmar goods, with its generalized system for preferences (GSP). EU offers GSP to least developed countries as an aid for their economic development.

Looking at the trade trend, textile and garment represented 66 percent of total export from Myanmar to Europe during 1995-2009, standing top on the list. It was followed by 8 percent marine products.

According to the official statistics, trade between EU and Myanmar was up 2 percent at US$235 million in 2010.

Earlier this month EU has announced financial aid worth Euro 150 million for Myanmar in 2012-2013. The aid is aimed at health, education, agricultural and peace process in the country.

The European Union opened its branch office in Yangon on April 28 last year.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media