Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Netherlands steps up cooperation with Burma

Now that Burma is making reforms and European Union sanctions have been suspended, the Netherlands is stepping up its cooperation with Burma. Burmese, Dutch and other companies can now use Dutch programmes to stimulate the Burmese economy, and Burmese can apply to the Netherlands Fellowships Programme (NFP) for student grants.

Now that Burma is making reforms and European Union sanctions have been suspended, the Netherlands is stepping up its cooperation with Burma. Burmese, Dutch and other companies can now use Dutch programmes to stimulate the Burmese economy, and Burmese can apply to the Netherlands Fellowships Programme (NFP) for student grants.

In Burma 32% of the population lives under the poverty level, but the country has enormous economic potential. The Netherlands has thus decided to give Burma access to several programmes to promote private sector development: the Private Sector Investment Programme (PSI), the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), the Netherlands Management Cooperation Programme (PUM), the Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and the fund for public-private partnership in the area of food security.

Student grants

‘After decades of international isolation, the Burmese government and society lack knowledge and know-how,’ said development minister Ben Knapen. ‘The Netherlands is helping, to begin with, in the fields of water, logistics and food security. Student grants will help the Burmese acquire knowledge in the Netherlands that can be crucial for their country’s development.’

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal added, ‘Burma is going through a historic transition. It is vital for its people to be able to benefit from the reforms as quickly and tangibly as possible.’

Natural disasters

The Netherlands is closely following progress with the reforms. In the past its only contributions to Burma were humanitarian aid in response to natural disasters and support for Burmese human rights defenders and refugee camps in Thailand.