Free Trade?

Posted by JSYL on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 in ,
About a month ago I began working on an article about Myanmar (Burma) for trade magazine Australasia ASEAN Business. The mag explores the way member states will be impacted by the recently signed AANZFTA, a multilateral free trade agreement that will drastically reduce trade barriers between member states over a region worth about $US2.7 trillion in GDP.

I agonised over this article for a long time. At first I struggled to find any sources to speak candidly about Burma's military regime for fear of reprisal. But I did manage to speak to a number of people well-versed in the economic and humanitarian plight of the region, and was happy with the end result. But it didn't end there. Having been commissioned by the ASEAN Australia Business Council, the final product was toned down for obvious reasons. But I still think it sheds light on some interesting issues that remain relevant almost fifty years since the military regime first came into power.

The Agreement is set to come into force this month.

"Burma's status as a signatory to AANZFTA would appear at odds with the diplomatic stance of the broader international community. But what impact will the agreement actually have on the Union of Myanmar?"

Read the rest of the article on page 126 of the ezine here.



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