The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Union of Myanmar signed a Joint Declaration of Cooperation (JDC) on June 24, at an EFTA Ministerial meeting in Trondheim, Norway. The meeting was chaired by Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske, who himself visited Myanmar earlier this year.
Through the JDC, both sides commit to further enhancing their bilateral economic relations, which have expanded in the last few years. In 2012, the value of total EFTA-Myanmar merchandise trade was USD 10.4 million, with exports to Myanmar worth USD 3.8 million and imports from Myanmar worth USD 6.5 million.
EFTA’s main export articles to Myanmar are pharmaceuticals, mechanical machinery and paint. The EFTA countries mainly imports precious stones, metals and clothes from the country. At the meeting, it was agreed to establish a Joint EFTA-Myanmar Committee, to provide the parties with a forum for discussing relevant issues. The JDC with Myanmar is the latest addition to EFTA’s vast network of preferential trade relations, one of the most extensive such networks in the world.
The agreement was signed by Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland; Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein; Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland; and Trond Giske; as well as by Pwint San, Deputy Minister of Commerce of Myanmar.