By Daniel Hunter
A trade mission of British businesses will visit Burma next month, the first UK grouping to visit since the partial suspension of EU sanctions and lifting of the UK’s policy of discouraging all trade and investment in April 2012.
The Government wants to support prosperity in Burma by encouraging responsible trade and investment in the country in a way that benefits people across Burma.
The trade mission will be led by Lord Marland, Chairman of UK Trade & Investment’s Business Ambassadors' Group, and includes UKTI Chief Executive Nick Baird.
Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said:
"There is significant interest in Burma from UK businesses. We strongly believe that the right kind of responsible trade and investment can aid Burma’s transition to democracy. The companies on the mission will demonstrate UK business excellence and its commitment to promoting social and environmental responsibility.
"As the UK develops its relationship with Burma, we will be working very closely with the FCO and DFID to encourage a responsible business environment. In particular, the UK will be working very hard with the Burmese government to increase transparency and improved public financial management."
The trade mission follows the week long visit of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the Burmese National League for Democracy party ,to the UK, where she has spoken about the importance of foreign direct investment in creating jobs and growth in Burma. Today Aung San Suu Kyi is attending a roundtable event at Chatham House, with Business Secretary Vince Cable and in association with the UK ASEAN Business Council to discuss responsible investment and the role of business in Burma.
Burma fact file:
- Burma is a country with high growth potential, with rich natural resources, a young labour force and proximity to some of the most dynamic economies in the world.
- EU Foreign Ministers on 23 April 2012 suspended all EU sanctions apart from the arms embargo which remains in force.
- Burma is currently the world’s 10th biggest and Asia’s top exporter of natural gas which is the country’s main source of foreign exchange contributing 12.5% to GDP.
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