Press releases

ITC, EU and Myanmar partner for inclusive and sustainable trade growth

18 October 2019
ITC News

Myanmar and the European Union (EU) have partnered with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to support trade diversification and integration, for the benefit of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Myanmar.

The ASEAN Regional Integration Support – Myanmar Trade Related Assistance (ARISE Plus – Myanmar) was launched today in Nay Pyi Taw by Minister of Commerce U Than Myint, Ambassador of the European Union to Myanmar Kristian Schmidt, and ITC Executive Director Arancha González.

Implemented by ITC in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), the EUR 8 million project will run from 2019-2023 and contribute to greater connectivity and economic integration between Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025. It will build the capacities of Myanmar's MSMEs to explore new business opportunities in the ASEAN region, the EU and global markets. It will also address compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, non-tariff barriers along value chains, and provide technical assistance for trade policy formulation and implementation. Minister of Commerce U Than Myint said: ‘From this four-year ARISE Plus Myanmar project, our ultimate goal is to nurture inclusive and sustainable trade growth in Myanmar. The project will focus on quality rather than quantity and enhance the production capacity of SMEs focusing on value-addition.’

EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt reiterated EU's strong commitment to support Myanmar's trade growth. He said: ‘ASEAN is a natural partner for the EU. We support ASEAN, its institutions, and its members, because regional integration is good for peace, for jobs, for stability and progress. The EU also fully understands that all members of a customs union must benefit in a balanced manner. With ARISE+, we will support Myanmar's efforts to take advantage of the opportunities of international trade. ’

ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘The project will contribute to promotion of inclusive growth and job creation in export-oriented sectors and it will help diversify the economy to more value-added and productive industries.’

The project will create additional opportunities for women to enter the labour market and access better paid jobs. In addition, it contributes to increased transparency of trade rules potentially addressing women businesses’ barriers to integrate into export value chains. Lastly, the project also support business associations’ capacity for advocacy, including women entrepreneurs associations.

International Trade Centre
Jarle Hetland, Media Officer
P: + 41 22 730 0145
M: + 41 79 582 9180
E: hetland [at] intracen.org

Ministry of Commerce
Su Thet Hninn
Assistant Director, Department of Trade
P: +95 9 44853 5596
E: suthethninn.moc [at] gmail.com