The US and Myanmar are joining forces to develop an initiative designed to promote fundamental labour rights and practices in Myanmar.

The agreement was made following a meeting between US Trade Ambassador Michael Froman and ASEAN Economic Ministers during a visit to Myanmar.

In a joint statement, the two sides said they have agreed to begin a consultative process that is intended to culminate in the development, by November, of a new initiative to promote fundamental labour rights and practices in Myanmar/Burma.

"The initiative will build upon Myanmar's existing reform efforts, including ongoing activities supported by the International Labor Organization. Other interested governments, as well as businesses and labor stakeholders, will be invited to take part in the development and implementation of this initiative."

The main goals, the two parties said, will be to develop a multi-year strategy for labour law reform and capacity building, to implement fundamental labour rights and decent working conditions on the ground, and to foster strong relations between businesses, workers, and the government of Myanmar.

"The strategy will serve as a blueprint to build upon Myanmar's existing labour market reform efforts and to prioritise the most critical needs as Myanmar increases its economic engagement with the world.

"Over the long term, the initiative will support the government and stakeholders in realising internationally recognised labour standards and responsible business practices in Myanmar, helping to make Myanmar an important sourcing and investment option, protecting the core rights of Myanmar's workers, and creating opportunities for Myanmar businesses."