BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Friday it would look to reinstate preferential access for imports from Myanmar, following international recognition of progress on labor reforms in the country.
On Wednesday, the International Labour Organization (ILO) lifted punitive restrictions on Myanmar, in place for more than a decade, in response to a new law on trade unions and a pledge to end forced labour by 2015.
“The EU fully recognizes the importance of the ILO report and considers this a positive step forward in the process of the reinstatement of preferential market access for Myanmar/Burmese products to the European market,” the EU’s foreign policy and trade chiefs said in a joint statement.
The EU hopes to propose allowing tariff free imports from Myanmar under its “everything but arms” initiative for less developed countries, the statement said, without giving a time frame for a decision.
The EU suspended most of its sanctions against Myanmar earlier this year after it released many political prisoners and allowed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to contest by-elections.
Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; Editing by Rosalind Russell