The trade mission will be led by Lord Marland, Chairman of UK Trade & Investment’s Business Ambassadors' Group, and includes UKTI Chief Executive Nick Baird.
Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said:
"There is significant interest in Burma from UK businesses. We strongly believe that the right kind of responsible trade and investment can aid Burma’s transition to democracy. The companies on the mission will demonstrate UK business excellence and its commitment to promoting social and environmental responsibility.
"As the UK develops its relationship with Burma, we will be working very closely with the FCO and DFID to encourage a responsible business environment. In particular, the UK will be working very hard with the Burmese government to increase transparency and improved public financial management."
The trade mission follows the week long visit of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the Burmese National League for Democracy party ,to the UK, where she has spoken about the importance of foreign direct investment in creating jobs and growth in Burma. Today Aung San Suu Kyi is attending a roundtable event at Chatham House, with Business Secretary Vince Cable and in association with the UK ASEAN Business Council to discuss responsible investment and the role of business in Burma.
Burma fact file
- Burma is a country with high growth potential, with rich natural resources, a young labour force and proximity to some of the most dynamic economies in the world.
- EU Foreign Ministers on 23 April 2012 suspended all EU sanctions apart from the arms embargo which remains in force.
- Burma is currently the world’s 10th biggest and Asia’s top exporter of natural gas which is the country’s main source of foreign exchange contributing 12.5% to GDP.
Notes for editors
1. UK Trade & Investment is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy.
2. The 3-day trade mission will visit Rangoon and Naypyidaw from 9-11 July. It include meetings with local businesses, relevant Government Ministries and the Opposition, and a ‘Road to London’ Olympics event at the Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium, which will be officiated by the Burmese Sports Minister and feature sporting and cultural activities involving local school children. The VIP audience will be a mix of the NGOs, business community, local sports and other personalities.
3. The lifting of the UK’s bilateral policy of discouraging trade and investment with Burma was announced in a speech by the Foreign Secretary in Singapore on 26 April.
4. The British government urges all British companies entering Burma to promote the highest standards of corporate governance and social and environmental responsibility, including adherence to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
5. The UK-ASEAN Business Council (www.ukti.gov.uk/ukasean) has been established, under the Chairmanship of Lord Davies of Abersoch, with the intention of getting more UK businesses trading with ASEAN countries.
6. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
- To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced econom
- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
7. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)207 215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media. You can also keep in touch with developments at UKTI through www.blog.ukti.gov.uk, www.twitter.com/ukti and www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ukti