EU GSP decision may affect over one million workers in garment and fishery industries

18 December 2018
EU GSP decision may affect over one million workers in garment and fishery industries

Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) Chairman Maung Maung said that over 1 million workers from the garment and fishery industries might be affected if Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was revoked by European Union (EU).

“Over 700,000 workers from the garment industry and over 400,000 workers in fishery industry will lose their jobs and their families will be in trouble. We don’t want to see this situation. So, we request  the EU not to revoke GSP,” Maung Maung said.

Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) and Myanmar Industry Craft and Services, Trade Unions Federation (MICS-TUsF) jointly organized a forum under the title ‘Together we succeed, Why GSP is essential for Decent Work and Industrial Peace’ at UMFCCI office on December 17 for advocating to not revoke GSP as it would stop and stall development in the country.

The EU granted GSP to Myanmar in 2013 and the country enjoyed preferences of exemption from paying import duties for exports from Myanmar especially garments and foodstuffs.

Economist Dr. Zaw Oo said, “In the review by the EU, they said that Myanmar was the best country which could do the best and the fastest. In the last five years, exports from Myanmar to EU rose more than ten times. It is not an easy job. We could meet all specifications and regulations prescribed by EU. We emphasize this point in our discussions on why EU should continue GSP to Myanmar.”

EU review team, EU EBA (preferential Everything But Arms) Monitoring Mission, recently visited Myanmar to study issues relating to revoking GSP granted to Myanmar.

EU EBA mission visited Myanmar in the last week of October 2018 to study the human rights situation in Rakhine and other areas, the working environment and relations between employers and employees.