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Countries and regions

Myanmar (Burma)


Since 2011, the EU has progressively re-engaged with Myanmar, including in its trade and investment relations. It has:

  • lifted sanctions with the exception of an arms embargo
  • granted preferential access to the EU market
  • launched negotiations for an investment protection agreement.

On 1 June 2016, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission adopted a joint communication. This lays out a plan for coherent EU engagement and intensified cooperation with the country to overcome the challenges it faces.

On 20 June 2016 the Council adopted conclusions on an EU strategy with Myanmar welcoming this Communication.

Trade picture

In 2017:

  • Total trade between the two partners equaled €2.09 billion.
  • The EU ranked as the 6th biggest trade partner of Myanmar. The EU imported goods worth €1,549 million from Myanmar. The key EU imports from Myanmar are dominated by garment (72%) and agricultural products.
  • The EU exported goods worth almost €539 million to Myanmar. The key EU exports to Myanmar are dominated by machinery, transport equipment and chemicals.

EU-Myanmar: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 0.7 0.5 -0.1
2016 1.0 0.6 -0.4
2017 1.6 0.5 -1.0

EU-Myanmar: Trade in services

Trade in services 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 0.2 0.3 0.1
2015 0.3 0.5 0.1
2016 0.3 0.4 0.1

EU-Myanmar: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2016, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2016 -0.1 0.2 0.3

Date of retrieval: 16/04/2018

More statistics on Myanmar

EU and Myanmar

The EU and Myanmar launched negotiations for an investment protection agreement in 2013.

The agreement would:

  • offer investors from both sides a predictable and secure investment environment
  • protect them against discrimination
  • ensure they are treated in a fair and equitable way and
  • ensure that investments will not be unfairly taken away without fair compensation.

A sustainability impact assessment complemented the negotiations. This evaluated the potential economic, social, environmental and human rights impact of the future agreement.

As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Myanmar benefits from the EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, part of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The EBA gives the world's 47 Least Developed Countries - including Myanmar – duty- and quota-free access to the EU for all their exports, except for arms and ammunition.

Labour rights initiative

Since May 2015, the EU has participated in the "Initiative to promote fundamental labour rights and practices in Myanmar" with the Governments of Myanmar, the United States, Japan, Denmark and the International Labour Organisation ( ILO).

The initiative aims to:

  • help promote fundamental rights for workers in Myanmar
  • create opportunities for businesses in Myanmar
  • help transform the country into an attractive trading and investment partner.

Myanmar and ASEAN

Myanmar is one of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The countries as a group are the EU's second largest trading partner outside Europe, after China.

The ASEAN region is a dynamic market with some 640 million consumers. Myanmar is one of the three LDCs in the ASEAN region.

The EU co-operates closely with ASEAN as a whole. For example, the EU-ASEAN Trade and Investment Work Programme outlines activities to bring the two regions closer together, and includes regular discussions between ministers and senior officials on trade and investment.

More information on ASEAN

Trading with Myanmar