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U.S and Myanmar Agree to Develop New Initiative to Promote Labor Rights

Yangon, Myanmar –Today the United States and Myanmar issued the following Joint Statement regarding the development of a new initiative to promote fundamental labor rights and practices in Myanmar. Ambassador Michael Froman, the first U.S. Trade Representative to visit Myanmar, is in the country in conjunction with the ASEAN Economic Ministers meetings.

Joint Statement

“The United States and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar have agreed to begin a consultative process that is intended to culminate in the development, by the time of the ASEAN Leaders meeting in November, 2014, of a new Initiative to Promote Fundamental Labor Rights and Practices in Myanmar. The Initiative will build upon Myanmar’s existing reform efforts, including on-going activities supported by the International Labor Organization. Other interested governments, as well as businesses and labor stakeholders, will be invited to take part in the development and implementation of this Initiative. Its main goals will be to develop a multi-year strategy for labor law reform and capacity building, to implement fundamental labor rights and decent working conditions on the ground, and to foster strong relations between businesses, workers, and the government of Myanmar. The strategy will serve as a blueprint to build upon Myanmar’s existing labor market reform efforts and to prioritize the most critical needs as Myanmar increases its economic engagement with the world. Over the long term, the Initiative will support the government and stakeholders in realizing internationally recognized labor standards and responsible business practices in Myanmar, helping to make Myanmar an important sourcing and investment option, protecting the core rights of Myanmar’s workers, and creating opportunities for Myanmar businesses.”