New USDA Office in Burma Seeks to Aid U.S. Farm Exports
The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service announced Aug. 8 the expansion of its activities and services in Burma with the opening of a new Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. embassy in Rangoon. FAS Administrator Phil Karsting indicated that this office will give FAS a “unique opportunity” to help “shape and influence rules, regulations and policies that will impact the future of U.S. agricultural exports,” including bulk commodities as well as “high-value food products to serve Burma’s rapidly growing hotel, restaurant and tourism industries.” According to U.S. government data, U.S. agricultural exports to Burma jumped 24 percent in fiscal year 2014 to $15.3 million.
FAS said that with the addition of the Rangoon office it now has a network of 94 offices at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions around the world covering 171 countries. This network helps build international markets and facilitate exports of U.S. food and agricultural products. FAS also leads USDA’s efforts to help developing countries strengthen their food and agricultural systems, which establishes a foundation for future trading opportunities.