The EU is prepared to take yet another landmark step to open European markets to Myanmar/Burma following its political, social and labor reforms. The European Commission has adopted a proposal
to restore Myanmar/Burma to the "Everything But Arms"
preferential trade regime.
The European Commission's proposal will provide duty-free and quota-free access to the European market for all products, except for arms and ammunitions, and will be submitted to the Council and the European Parliament for formal adoption. The EU took an initial step (as previously reported here and here) in May when its economic sanctions on Myanmar/Burma were suspended.
The EU provides "Everything But Arms" benefits to least developed countries, and the program is incorporated in the EU's "Generalised System of Preferences" (GSP). Myanmar/Burma participated in the GSP until 1997 when benefits were suspended due to its use of forced labour in violation of conventions of the International Labour Organization.