On behalf of the European Union, I would like to welcome the Delegation of Myanmar led by Director General, Ministry of Commerce, Mr. U MINN MINN. I would also like to thank the WTO Secretariat and the Government of Myanmar for their reports and, the Discussant, H.E. Ms Kirsti KAUPPI (Finland) for her remarks.
Although political developments and events are generally discussed in international fora other than the WTO, they do impact trade and economic situation of the country. The EU wishes to put on record our grave concern regarding the recent developments in Myanmar. Therefore, we would like to refer to our recent statement in which the EU strongly condemned the coup by the Tatmadaw in Myanmar. This is a clear attempt by the military to overturn the will of the Myanmar people with their strong attachment to democracy, as expressed in the November 2020 general elections. The EU also called for restraint by the military and the immediate restoration of the legitimate civilian government in Myanmar.
Mr Chairman, during period under the review and before these unfortunate events, Myanmar underwent a clear economic transformation, gradually making its economy more open to trade and foreign investment.
The EU supports Myanmar’s efforts in reducing poverty as well as inequality and we encourage Myanmar to promote reforms that will further enable inclusive growth and address inequality. We urge Myanmar to proceed with deeper structural reforms and increase liberalisation in strategic sectors that can strengthen its position in the global economy.
Finally, we also encourage Myanmar to strengthen its attempts to combat fraud, corruption and illicit trade.