The increasing imports from Burma to the EU

 

or how EU five-doubled their import from Burma after Aung San Suu Kyi asked for trade sanctions. A report from the Danish Burma Committee Support Group September 2002

 

 

Did European companies listen to Aung San Suu Kyi’s demand for sanctions against Burma from 1996? Did they reduce their import from Burma, after EU cancelled trade benefit with Burma from 1997, or after EU banned all visa for Burmese officials from the same year?

 

Not at all. Since 1996, EU-countries has more than five-doubled their import from Burma, according to information from EU’s statistical office Eurostat. The total import from Burma to EU was almost 500 million € in 2001, so Europe has become a major trade partner for this Asian dictatorship.

 

In the first chart, you can se how many € each EU-citizen has imported in average from Burma in the period 1996-2001. Second chart shows a big difference between the EU-countries: Worst country is Denmark, followed by The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom and France.

 

 

 

Denmark is worst

Even the Danish minister for foreign affairs discussed sanctions in 1996, and the Danish Burma Committee has been quite active in the fight for boycott, Danish companies has been the worst in EU to import from Burma, measured pr. capita.

 

 

In 2001, 60 percent of the import from Burma to Denmark has been clothing and garment, most of the rest has been wood. 1.6 million shirts, trousers, skirts and jackets came from Burma to Denmark in 2001, according to Statistics Denmark. Some of the items could be re-exported to other EU countries, but there is no statistics for that. More information concerning Denmark’s import from Burma can be obtained from www.statbank.dk.

 

Second worst: The Netherlands

Even effective campaigns from Burma Centrum Netherland, and their victory to convince Heineken and other companies not to be involved in Burma, The Netherlands imported for almost 50 million € in 2001. Pr. capita its 3,06 €, much more than the EU average of 1,30 € pr. capita.

 

 

For more information, contact Statistics Netherlands, tel. (+31)703 37 3800. They might be able to give more detailed information concerning what products is imported from Burma.

 

Third worst in EU: Great Britain

Even successful efforts from Burma Campaign the British import is far more than the EU average. A British citizen did import for 2,18 € from Burma in 2001, more than the EU average 1,30 € pr. capita.

 

 

The total import from Burma to Great Britain is more than 130 million €, which is the highest for any EU countries. Even Germany, with has much more citizens, cannot compete with the high total Burma import in Great Britain.

 

For more information, contact Office for National Statistics, tel. (+44)170 45 69 824. They might be able to give more detailed information concerning what products is imported from Burma.

 

Number four on the list: Belgium

Each person in Belgium had an import of 2,17 € pr. capita from Burma in 2001, more than the EU average of 1,30 € pr. capita.

 

To measure the development from 1996-2001, there is only data for Belgium+Luxembourg, not for each of the countries. The only nice thing witch can be said for the import from Burma to Belgium+Luxembourg is, that it decreased from 1997 to 1998. Since 1998, it has increased a lot, and its the Belgians, who are the bad guys, because almost all of the import went to Belgium. People in Luxembourg only had an import of 0,21 € pr. capita from Burma.

 

 

For more information, contact Institut National de Statistique in Belgium, tel. (+32)2-54 86 211, or STATEC in Luxembourg, tel. (352)46 00 93. They might be able to give more detailed information concerning what products is imported from Burma.

 

Number five on the list: France

Even France has been involved in the Total/Unocal gas project in the Andaman Sea, and almost all new aeroplanes in Burma are French, France is not the worst on the list to import from Burma. A French citizen imported in 2001 for 1,51 €, a bit more than the EU average of 1,30 € pr. capita.

 

 

For more information, contact Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, tel. (+33)1-411 75 050. They might be able to give more detailed information concerning what products is imported from Burma.

 

Other ten countries below the EU average

Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece and Portugal all have an import from Burma pr. capita below the EU average. However, these ten countries import 36 percent of the total EU import from Burma, so they shouldn’t be too proud. Specially Germany, with a total import of almost 100 million € from Burma in 2001 is a major trader with the Asian dictatorship.

 

The best two countries are Greece and Portugal. They import only for 2 cents pr. capita (Greece) and 4 cents pr. capita (Portugal) in 2001. (Note: Norway is not member of EU, but their import from Burma in 2001 is included in this report).

 

Nordic countries: embarrassing for Denmark

One of the better areas are - except for Denmark - the Nordic countries. Sweden, Finland and Norway all have an import from Burma far less than the EU average. Denmark has an import approximately ten times bigger than the average for the other Nordic countries, and three times bigger than the EU average. (Note: Norway is not member of EU, but their import from Burma in 2001 is included in this report. Norway import 1996-2000 is not included).

 

 

 

How much did EU-countries import totally?

In the following table from Eurostat, you can see the total import 1996-2001 in 1000 €. Fx France had an import of 14 million € in 1996 from Burma. Don’t be confused of Spain: Even this country 15-doubled their import from Burma from 1996 to 2001, Spain is still bellow the EU average, measured pr. capita.

 

Import to EU countries from Burma

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

How many times

did it increase 1996-2001:

France

14255,99

31113,88

36733,44

58256,95

85131,66

88937,86

6,24

Belg.-Luxbg

8315,69

8504,14

5621,45

7517,63

14225,76

22309,83

2,68

Netherlands

9081,47

12458,16

17804,15

19209,51

44410,17

48885,95

5,38

Germany

24002,47

32528,68

43055,41

53820,15

85767,67

98550,99

4,11

Italy

6441,26

10003,28

11770,51

15869,17

30284,12

37999,84

5,90

Utd. Kingdom

19058,03

34780,67

41143,81

46680,04

103322

130832,3

6,86

Ireland

703,82

764,34

51,38

104,22

2000,03

1994,07

2,83

Denmark

3646,2

4683,05

6143,21

7831,18

13847,67

19977,22

5,48

Greece

231,68

325,24

509,03

578,97

2186,08

232,04

1,00

Portugal

187,26

131,06

453,02

605,44

262,8

441,08

2,36

Spain

1989,62

3442,14

4128,4

8014,02

19155,12

30980,17

15,57

Sweden

1231,81

2242,79

2490,97

2785,67

2908,36

2824,92

2,29

Finland

160,45

542,18

346,11

391,83

2125,64

1145,39

7,14

Austria

468,22

785,78

408,81

1116,06

1811,63

4379,65

9,35

EU

89773,97

142305,4

170659,7

222780,8

407438,7

489491,3

5,45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about export?

This report cover import and not export, since the export from EU to Burma has decreased. The import from Burma was in 2001 six times higher than the export. The trend for the entire period 1996 to 2001 has been increasing import from Burma, and decreasing export to Burma. However, you can see the export from EU to Burma in the following table from Eurostat.

 

Export from EU countries to Burma

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

How many times

did it increase / how much did it decrease 1996-2001:

France

37720,36

29327,86

18893,01

11199,02

15787,08

11955,63

0,32

Belg.-Luxbg

5425,91

6767,22

4430,85

 

 

8147,59

1,50

Netherlands

9462,11

3642,84

2278,37

4408,71

9059,96

5710,12

0,60

Germany

36417,27

46457,43

45650,17

52925,98

43698,44

18463,4

0,51

Italy

25285,6

39551,75

16772,93

19456,35

14075,44

12035,64

0,48

Utd. Kingdom

26008,78

22113,62

18603,46

11218,05

14198,28

15221,56

0,59

Ireland

1398,61

961,26

373,24

705,39

819,51

1518,47

1,09

Denmark

1179,73

2063,02

942,19

1492,36

2205,1

1288,84

1,09

Greece

139,5

191,9

165,1

1272,68

650,27

305,66

2,19

Portugal

0,04

 

137,47

57,07

304,55

99,77

2494,25

Spain

1551,82

309,64

819,74

643,72

963,51

927,63

0,60

Sweden

4489,48

831,1

1319,83

2607,07

156,84

779,05

0,17

Finland

352,57

117,39

108,25

33,19

250,97

894,44

2,54

Austria

970,15

6522,07

1069,85

682,35

1901,78

3514,53

3,62

Total EU

150401,9

158857,1

111564,5

106701,9

104071,7

80862,3

0,54

 

Fx you can see, that France decreased their export to Burma in 2001 to only 32 percent of the export to Burma in 1996. Don’t be confused of Portugal: Even this country increased their export to Burma, the total figure for Portugal in 2001 is very small - actually the smallest in the entire EU.

 

If you need additional information, please contact me by phone: (+45) 2266 3495 / 3325 1840 or by e-mail: bjarneussing@hotmail.com. I would be happy to help you. If you need additional information from Eurostat, their homepage is: http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/

 

 

 

Bjarne Ussing

Danish Burma Committee Support Group

Istedgade 132, 1650 Copenhagen V, Denmark