The government will beef up legal protection of labour rights and intellectual property to ensure exports from Myanmar are eligible for duty-free access to the US market by the end of this year, officials at the Ministry of Commerce said.
Although they are confident Myanmar will be reinstated in Washington’s generalised system of preferences (GSP) – which grants duty-free access to thousands of imported goods from developing countries – they said that questions about labour rights and protection of intellectual property had been raised again on June 4 at a public hearing in Washington on Myanmar’s inclusion in the GSP.
The officials stressed, however, that new legislation establishing a minimum wage and standards for occupational health and safety will be debated at the next session of parliament, as will new copyright legislation
Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Aye Mauk said draft legislation for an intellectual property law were to be submitted to the hluttaw when it reconvened on June 25. U Aye Mauk, who is also secretary of the lower house’s planning and financial development committee, said he hopes the legislation will be enacted within two months. The committee has received advice from international bodies, including NGOs, to draft the legislation, he added.
The World Intellectual Property Organization has been meeting with officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology to discuss the legislation, a WIPO regional program officer said.
U Ye Min Than said five officials drafting the legislation discussed it with WIPO staff at its headquarters in Geneva in early March. more…