Visite de Mme Nicole Bricq, Ministre du Commerce extérieur
During her visit to Myanmar, the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Mrs Nicole Bricq, is accompanied by a group of French companies, large and small, which shows a strong interest for developing commercial relations. During his visit to France, President U Thein Sein also stressed the potential for cooperation between both countries.
Trade figures between Myanmar and France in a good way
For the first five months of 2013, exports from Myanmar to France have grown by 1250 %, from 1.5 M Euros to 20.4 M Euros. Exports from France to Myanmar in the same period show an increase of 275 % and have reached 23.9 M Eur. These figures are very encouraging for the development of our bilateral trade.
Through the European Union, the French Government has supported the reinstatement of the General System of Preference, which allows Myanmar exports to enter Europe without duties or quotas. On another hand, France expects Myanmar to facilitate the access to the Myanmar market for French products and investments, in a sustainable way.
France had also supported ending the restrictions imposed by the EU. Commercial and financial relations can therefore resume.
French-Myanmar business support organization being reinforced
The Association France-Myanmar des Affaires (AFMA), which will become a full fledged Myanmar France Chamber of Commerce is a long established business club which has been very efficient and is supporting the efforts of French business in Myanmar.
The opening of the trade commission, attached to the Embassy, « Ubifrance », which depends on the French Ministry for Foreign Trade, shows the commitment of the French government in helping SMEs in countries where France wishes to see growth in trade relations. This office has been active for a few months already. Its knowledge of the needs of the Myanmar economy is essential as it has shown during a seminar organized in March on the water supply sector. During the visit of Mrs Bricq to Myanmar, Ubifrance organized “business to business” meetings between French and Myanmar companies, in order to promote trade and commercial partnerships between the two countries.
This « Ubifrance » office, officially inaugurated by Mrs Bricq, is working along with the Economic Service representing the French Treasury in Myanmar reopened in September 2012, the AFMA and other services of the French Embassy.
France as a key financial partner for Myanmar
The exceptional decision to cancel 50 % of the arrears of the Myanmar debt towards France decided during the Paris Club meeting on January 25th is a first in the history of the Paris Club. With the assistance of the IMF, it is expected that this effort will help Myanmar to keep a sustainable financial position and manage its development policies.
France supports the programs of International Financial Institutions (World Bank, Asian Development Bank and European Union) for the development of Myanmar. EU and France participate in aid. European aid has been increased by 150 MEur for 2012/13 in particular for the health and education sectors.
Since March 2012, the French Agence Française de Développement has been allotted 3 MEur every year for 4 years, to finance projects in the health, water and agriculture sectors.
France is also developing financial tools such as export finance and grants for feasibility studies (through COFACE and FASEP funds). The French company Egis has been selected as the first to benefit from this scheme to contribute to the improvement of water supply in Yangon