Saturday, May 27, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

French chamber and UMFCCI to support Myanmar-EU trade

The French Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Myanmar) and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 5 to strengthen partnership with a focus on supporting SMEs and Myanmar businesses.

CCI France Myanmar and the UMFCCI signed an MoU on May 5 to facilitate collaboration, boost investments and exchange information. Photo: SuppliedCCI France Myanmar and the UMFCCI signed an MoU on May 5 to facilitate collaboration, boost investments and exchange information. Photo: Supplied

CCI France Myanmar said that the agreement comes at a time when the implementation of the new Investment Law would facilitate the access to the Myanmar market for foreign firms.

“French companies possess a know-how and qualitative equipment, which could have a dramatic impact on the sustainable development of Myanmar,” Guillaume Rebiere, executive director of CCI France Myanmar, told the Myanmar Times.

“This is already the case in many infrastructure-related projects in terms of waste management, energy or water distribution…

“Our objective is also to help Myanmar companies benefit from the advantages offered by the European market and the Generalised System of Preferences [GSP],” he added.

According to the World Trade Organisation, under the Generalised System of Preferences, developed countries offer non-reciprocal preferential treatment (such as zero or low duties on imports) to products originating from developing countries. Preference-giving countries unilaterally determine which countries and which products are included in their schemes.

With a Least Developed Country (LDC) status, Myanmar benefits from the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, which is part of the EU’s GSP. EBA gives the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries, including Myanmar, duty- and quota-free access to the EU market for all their exports, barring arms and ammunition.

The MoU between the French and Myanmar chambers mainly focuses on regular consultation on both sides, exchange of information, encouraging French investments in Myanmar and vice versa.

CCI France Myanmar has also published two documents with an attempt to support French businesses in Myanmar and Myanmar’s export to France and Europe.

“Our objective being to take a delegation of Myanmar companies to Europe, to participate in and even exhibit in some of the leading professional trade exhibitions there.

“The main challenge is that the SMEs and local companies, who need the most support to develop internationally, are the ones with the limited financial means to do so. But, we are confident that our partnership with the UMFCCI will help us find solutions,” Mr Rebiere said.