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On 6 August 2019, the handover ceremony of the Financing Agreement for the ASEAN Regional Integration Support – Myanmar Trade Related Assistance (ARISE Plus Myanmar) was held at Park Royal Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. U Min Min, Director General, Department of Trade at the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Dr. Johann Hesse, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Myanmar (EUD), and officials of the MOC, EUD and International Trade Centre (ITC) attended the event.
Over four years the EU will provide up to 8 million euros to implement the ARISE Plus Myanmar project that will be implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). The initiative aims to support greater connectivity and strengthen economic integration between Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025.
At the handover ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw, U Min Min, Director General, Department of Trade said "I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the European Union for this grant support to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in Myanmar. It shows the strong commitment between the EU and Myanmar to move towards the sustainable development goals."
The Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Myanmar, Dr. Johann Hesse said. "We’re very honoured to support Myanmar through the ARISE Plus Myanmar project to further diversify its trade and enhance its integration, regionally and internationally. The EU remains committed to assisting Myanmar in achieving these important objectives".
With 8 million euros, ARISE Plus Myanmar supports micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to explore business opportunities in ASEAN, the EU and global markets. It also addresses compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards in line with international commitments. The project helps Myanmar formulate its trade policy and assists the country in meeting its regional (ASEAN) and international (World Trade Organisation - WTO, EU) commitments and addresses non-tariff barriers (NTBs) along value chains.
ARISE Plus Myanmar is expected to contribute to equitable and inclusive growth and job creation in export-oriented sectors, and in line with government strategy, it will help diversify the economy to develop more added value and productive industries. This should result in new opportunities for women to enter the labour market and access better paid jobs. In addition, the project will increase the transparency of trade rules and potentially address barriers that female-led businesses face when integrating into export value chains. It will also support the advocacy efforts of business associations, including women entrepreneurs associations.