Myanmar hopes EU does not withdraw its GSP status as the decision can have a big impact on Myanmar’s reforms and growth momentum. Thousands of workers would lose their jobs if factories close and foreign businesses leave. It is estimated more than a million workers from the garment and fishery industries could be affected if the EU decides to revoke the trade preference.
It can become hard for Myanmar producers to export their goods to European countries. The EU is planning to stop trade preferences for Myanmar for reported human right violations in three of the nation’s states where ethnic people reside.
Currently, Myanmar exports enjoy tariff-free and quota-free access to the European markets, with the exception of arms and ammunition. Myanmar says maintaining GSP privileges would speed up its pace of development. The country’s businesses need trade preferences to export their goods to European countries, IT is the third largest export market of Myanmar, absorbing nearly ten per cent of the nation’s total exports in 2017.
The value of Myanmar’s garment exports to the EU has significantly increased from 2013 to 2017. The EU has become Myanmar’s largest trade partner for garments, purchasing more than 47 per cent of the products.