Ambassador Marantis traveled today to Naypyidaw, the capital of Burma, to talk with officials about ways to reestablish and build trade and investment between our two countries.
In meetings with Minister of the President’s Office U Soe Thane and Minister of Commerce U Win Myint, Ambassador Marantis focused on the possibility of launching talks toward a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between our two countries, as well as opportunities under the Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Initiative when their government assumes leadership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the year 2014.
Ambassador Marantis also updated the officials on the recently initiated review of the country to determine eligibility for the United States’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – a program through which many exported goods from developing countries are allowed into the United States duty-free in order to support economic growth and opportunities for people. In particular, he discussed with Deputy Minister of Labor U Myint Thein ongoing reforms as part of the path to GSP.
Last November, President Obama became the first American President to visit this southeast Asian nation. In a speech at the University of Yangon, he applauded and encouraged reforms and promised the United States’ partnership in efforts for further growth and development.
Tomorrow, Ambassador Marantis will meet with U.S. business leaders and speak at the American Center – to an audience of students and professors – about their country’s role in the history of trade, and what we can do together to advance bilateral, regional, and even global economic ties. Watch www.ustr.gov for the text of that speech.