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EU revoking of GSP won't affect investment: Myanmar

The European Union’s (EU) probable revoking of the generalized system of preferences (GSP) will not affect pending foreign investments in Myanmar, according to U Than Aung Kyaw, deputy director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) under the ministry of planning and finance. The EU granted the GSP in 2013. EU nations have never been the leading investors in Myanmar; Asian countries are, Aung Kyaw said said recently at the Myanmar Investment Commission. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström had announced early this month that the bloc was considering withdrawing Myanmar’s preferential trade status due to human rights violations committed against the Rohingyas last year. The investments of Western countries are not that significant, a Myanmarese newspaper report quoted Aung Kyaw as saying. According to DICA, Myanmar received $2 billion in foreign investments. Singapore was the largest investor with $700 million, followed by China with $300 million, the United Kingdom with $174 million and Japan with $134 million. Garment exports, however, account for some 70 per cent of Myanmar’s shipments to the EU, according to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association. U Khin Maung Aye, chairman of Hlaingtharyar Industrial Zone Garment Manufacturers Association, thinks orders from EU may fall. (DS)

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