Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has joined an international partnership to provide enterprise support for businesses in Burma.
The European Union funded Switch Asia business support programme is believed to be one of the first global economic partnerships with Burma for many years.
Its launch follows recent democratic elections in Burma and aims to help the Burmese garment and textile industry to become an international exporter.
Sheffield Chamber is the only UK partner in the project, which involves a number of German organisations, and will be providing support for both Burma’s Chambers of Commerce and individual businesses.
Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have got involved because of the contacts we are making to support our export growth across a number of sectors, but also because we can use this to get contacts and business for a number of our members.
“Asia is one of the regions predicted to deliver significant growth over the next few years and they will want to buy products that we make here in the Sheffield City Region. Lots of other European countries seem to be there so it’s time we went and got a bit of the action.”
The main aim of the Switch Asia programme is to help Burma compete in the international textiles market with India, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Businesses taking part will have to meet a number of criteria, including meeting health and safety requirements, operating suitable working practices and demonstrating environmental good practice.