The Irish Presidency has secured the re-admittance of Myanmar/Burma to an EU Trade Scheme that will help promote the country’s economic development, according to Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.
Following the co-signing of legislation today by the Irish Presidency and the President of the European Parliament, Myanmar/Burma will be re-admitted to the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences Regime (GSP).
Minister Bruton - "Given the positive developments in Myanmar/Burma in the recent past, it is important that the EU supports this by facilitating economic growth and development opportunities.”
Minister Bruton commented:
“I am delighted to have helped to secure the re-admittance of Myanmar/Burma to this preferential trading scheme. The aim of the scheme is to use trade to promote development through increased exports and income growth. The legislation grants preferential access in the form of tariff preferences, to European markets for a number of products from Myanmar /Burma. Given the positive developments in Myanmar/Burma in the recent past, it is important that the EU supports this by facilitating economic growth and development opportunities.”
Myanmar/Burma’s access to the scheme was temporarily withdrawn in 1997 due to serious and systemic practices of forced labour. Since 2011 the country has been undertaking a process of reform. In recognition of this the Foreign Affairs Council in April 2012 gave its guidance to reinstate Myanmar /Burma to the GSP as soon as the International Labour Organisation reported improvements in forced labour. In June 2012, the ILO reported the necessary improvements. The Commission acted quickly to adopt a proposal to bring Myanmar /Burma back into the scheme. The Council of the European Union under the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament have worked quickly to progress the regulation in their respective institutions. Today, both institutions signed the necessary legislation to re-instate preferential tariffs and so support economic development.