EU to provide support in preparation for VPA negotiations with Myanmar

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The Myanmar press has reported a meeting between Isabel Faria de Almeida of the EU Representative Office and MOECAF Union Minister Win Tun held to open preliminary negotiations for a Voluntary Partnership Agreement(VPA) with the EU. Discussions centered on the provision of technical assistance and training by the EU.

Analysts say that it is definitely in the interest of the country to adopt a credible domestic system for timber legality verification so exporters to the EU can satisfy the due diligence requirements of EU importers. They further commented that it would be advisable if Myanmar first tackles legality verification before certification, the route taken by most other ASEAN countries.

Analysts warn that in other countries VPA negotiations have been difficult as some conditions in the VPA agreements are difficult to implement which could result in exporters failing to secure a FLEGT license.

Given the experience in other countries analysts recommend the conditions requested from the EU should be studied in detail and possible implications carefully assessed.

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