December 14, 2017

Myanmar to adopt safeguards to protect domestic industries from increased imports

Dr Maung Aung, adviser to the Ministry of Commerce, giving talks on trade remedy-related laws to protect domestic industries from the impact of increased levels of imports in Myanmar on Saturday.
Dr Maung Aung, adviser to the Ministry of Commerce, giving talks on trade remedy-related laws to protect domestic industries from the impact of increased levels of imports in Myanmar on Saturday.

Myanmar’s government will enact a legislation to protect the interests of local businesses in the face of increased imports this year, an adviser to the Ministry of Commerce said Saturday.
After the parliament’s approval, the safeguard law is expected to be enacted during the present government, Dr Maung Aung, adviser to the ministry, told the media after his presentation on trade remedies.
His talks on trade remedy laws for local businesspeople, who are to be exposed to increased competition when the ASEAN Economic Community begins, took place at the building of the country’s peak business body UMFCCI in Yangon.
“With the WTO agreement, the safeguard law has reached the final stage in which the law must pass in Parliament before being signed by the President, “said the adviser.
The process of enacting the anti-dumping and countervailing laws is ongoing, requiring the approval of the WTO as well as scholarly advice, added the adviser, voicing hope these laws can be passed before the country’s full accession into the AEC in 2018.
During his presentation, the adviser said that levels of imports continue to increase following the country’s economic reforms combined with trade relaxation and the implementation of the AEC.  He highlighted the importance of laws that allow small and medium-sized enterprises to call on the government for imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
On the current business landscape, U Zaw Min Win, UMFCCI’s vice-president and chairman of the Myanmar Industries Association, stressed the need for the government’s support in the areas of financing, technology and ensuring the country’s SME growth.
“SMEs in Myanmar are not ready to face the AEC,” he said.
Dr Maung Aung said that the country’s production industries, if these legislations emerge, will be protected from the impact of increased imports that have injured or threatened domestic producers, and the injured industries will be restructured through these trade remedies.
One of the attendees at the talks expressed his view from the standpoint of a buyer that increased competition after the AEC integration is good as there will be more choice and competitive prices, but that a significant surge in cheaper imports could hurt local businesses.

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