Published on Monday, 01 July 2013 19:24
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation with Myanmar on June 24 during a meeting in Norway attended by Myanmar's Deputy Minister of Commerce.
Dr. Pwint Hsan signed the agreement which aims to further enhance economic relations between EFTA member states and Myanmar and promote private sector investment.
The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that a joint committee between EFTA and Myanmar would be formed to discuss relevant trading and business activities.
EFTA is a free trade organisation formed in 1960 that operates in parallel partnership with the European Union (EU). Current members are Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland whose ministers were present to sign the agreement with Myanmar.
According to the statement, Myanmar agreed to cooperate with EFTA in boosting trade and investment, easing restrictions in trade and investing in small and medium enterprises.
They also agreed to study other possibilities beneficial to trade and economic sectors to meet with required standards for labor and the environment.
The total EFTA-Myanmar trade (imports plus exports) for 2012 is valued at USD$ 10.4 million according to EFTA's website.
Myanmar imports goods such as pharmaceutical products, mechanical machinery and paint from EFTA states, while exports consist mainly of woven/knitted apparel and precious stones and metals.
The establishment of free trade between Myanmar and EFTA countries will be observed within the suitable period in accordance to the agreements with the World Trade Organisation.
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