The Myanmar Ministry of Commerce has completed a National Export Strategy (NES) with the technical assistance of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and supported by the German Techni- cal Cooperation Agency. The International Trade Center (ITC) has conducted a National Export Strategy Plan for Myanmar with rele- vant private and public sectors in Public-Pri- vate dialogue and in line with international standards.
Myanmar is now accorded the Generalized System of Preference from the EU but lacks the international standard of supply chain of products to meet with EU standards. Since Myanmar changed its political system, it has received international recognition espe- cially from western countries.
Both Myanmar Government and Parliamen- tary members have visited EU countries. Simultaneously, a year ago, the EU lifted sanctions with the exception of the arms em- bargo. a part from an arms embargo which is near one year ago. So, Myanmar is now in a position to export to the EU market.
There is no doubt Myanmar is on the move. Exports and investment have been on rise, even before sanctions were lifted. After suc- cessfully hosting the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in December 2013; this year the country has taken on the mantle of the Chairmanship of ASEAN.
The world’s eyes will be on the more than one thousand meetings that Myanmar will have to host as part of its role as ASEAN Chair. But the government has also been working to put into place a National Export
Strategy, a framework to ensure sustainable export-led growth and prosperity for an emerging Myanmar.
By September, when Myanmar will host the 36th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry, the country may already have results to show. “Myanmar will probably be able to showcase the country’s promising sectors,” said Dar- ius Kurek, Senior Officer in the Export Strategy division of the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva. The reforms that Myanmar implements are expected to at- tract investment and other types of assis- tance from ASEAN countries.
The National Export Strategy of Myanmar began in November 2012, when the ITC re- ceived a formal request from the Govern- ment of the Union of Myanmar for support and technical guidance in the elaboration of a National Export Strategy (NES). ITC’s Export Strategy section (Division of Coun- try Program/ES) was mandated with provid- ing this technical support to Myanmar. In implementing the design of Myanmar’s NES, ITC will provide a combination of ad- visory and capacity-building inputs, and specialised expertise to ensure the final NES documents are of the highest quality and will be validated by the relevant authorities in Myanmar.
In January 2013, the ITC formally initiated the NES design process by holding a pre-en- gagement mission. The NES is viewed as an important step towards improving the country’s export competitiveness, through providing a roadmap to address supply,
business environment, market entry, and developmental constraints in Myanmar.
In May and October 2013, the NES con- sultations in Myanmar involved public and
private stakeholders to design sector and cross-sector strategies complete with action plans. The results of this work will be con- solidated in a National level export strategy to be endorsed by the Government as a road- map for export development.
To support this work, the ITC will retain the services of a consultant in the field of com- munication and public relations. The consul- tant will work under the direct supervision of the ITC Senior Adviser on Export Strategy Design and Management and guidance of the ITC Communication and Event Team and close collaboration with the NES Navi- gator and Deputy Director General for the trade promotion department at the Ministry of Commerce.
In November 2013, a third Stakeholders’ Meeting was held in Myanmar for review- ing and validation of the NES plan of action led by the Trade Promotion Department from the Ministry of Commerce. “Now, the Myanmar Government has a plan to set up the Myanmar Trade Development Council (MTDC) to be the effective implementation for NES and to promote Myanmar’s export sector at national level,” said U Aung Soe who is Navigator for NES and also Deputy Director General for the Trade Promotion Department within the Ministry of Com- merce.