ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
EU-Myanmar business forum starts in Yangon
An European Union(EU)-Myanmar Business Forum kicked off here Thursday to explore further development of Myanmar-EU ties of comprehensive cooperation.
The two-day business forum also comprises Democratic Civil Society Forum and Development Forum.
Attending the opening ceremony were High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton, Myanmar Minister at the President's Office U Soe Thane, Chairperson of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi, over 100 entrepreneurs of EU and Myanmar and the civil societies.
EU and Myanmar will discuss political issue in Nay Pyi Taw Friday, sources close to the forum said.
EU will increase its aid of up to 120 million U.S.dollars per year for Myanmar's rural development, education, governance and peace building, the European Commission said in a press release.
A small and medium enterprise program was also launched aimed at promoting and supporting sustainable production of Myanmar garments.
In April this year, EU announced in Luxembourg the total lifting of sanctions against Myanmar with the exception of arms embargo. In June, the EU readmitted Myanmar to its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), allowing the country to benefit from lower duties on export.
According to official figures, EU's investment in Myanmar from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Cyprus reached some 3.8 billion U.S. dollars as of February 2013.
Bilateral trade between Myanmar and EU reached 226.37 million dollars in 2012 with Myanmar's export to EU standing at 43.54 million dollars while its import from EU 182.83 million dollars.
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