Jim Shannon – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2014-05-06.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what economic links there are with Burma; and what the value of (a) exports to and (b) imports from Burma was in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr Hugo Swire

Building a sustainable economy in Burma, including increased responsible international investment, is key to economic growth, alleviating poverty, improving livelihoods and improving stability. As set out in the ‘UK Activities in Burma’ document published on 8 April alongside a Written Ministerial Statement, the Government is working to encourage and support Burma to remove barriers to becoming a stable, prosperous and democratic country with a sustainable economy that benefits all its people and created a positive climate for domestic, international and UK trade and investment.

We are active in several areas including:
– establishing a UK Trade and Investment office in Burma to provide practical support to British companies;
– establishing a UK Financial Services Task Force to support the development of sound financial structures and products;
– funding two specialist economists from the International Growth Centre to support the Myanmar Development Resource Institute in providing high quality advice to government;
– providing £1.1m to support Burma’s application to the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative which will help improve the transparency and accountability of the revenues from Burma’s natural resources.
– supporting work to strengthen Burma’s accountancy profession, to tackle financial crime and to increase local community involvement in investment decisions.

UK exports of goods to Burma in 2013 were worth £44m (a 243% year on year increase) and imports from Burma were worth £65m (a 44% year on year increase). The top UK exports were transport equipment and road vehicles whilst the top imports were clothing.

In 2012, the last year for which total goods and services figures are available, UK exports of goods and services to Burma were worth £20.8m and imports from Burma were worth £46m.