Thursday, May 5, 2011

Myanmar president leaves for Indonesia on state visit, attends ASEAN summit

13:01, May 05, 2011

Myanmar new president U Thein Sein left Nay Pyi Taw Thursday for Jakarta on a state visit to Indonesia aimed at enhancing bilateral and regional ties and cooperation.

At the invitation of his Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Thein Sein's first overseas trip came over a month after he became the president on March 30.

In March 2009, Thein Sein visited the Southeast Asian member nation as then prime minister.

In March 2006, Indonesian president Susilo paid a state visit to Myanmar, during which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries on setting up a joint commission for bilateral cooperation.

Indonesia is Myanmar's fourth largest trading partner among ASEAN members after Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, having a bilateral trade with Myanmar standing 173.68 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year of 2009-10. Indonesia's exports to Myanmar amounted to 136.76 million dollars, while its imports from Myanmar valued at 36.92 million dollars, according to Myanmar official statistics.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's investment in Myanmar has so far reached over 241.49 million dollars since late 1988 when Myanmar opened to such investment, standing the 10th among Myanmar's foreign investors.

During his visit in Indonesia, Thein Sein will also attend the 18th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) slated for Saturday and Sunday.

At the regional summit, ASEAN leaders will signing a draft joint declaration on the "ASEAN Community in the Global Community", affirming ASEAN visions in the face of new challenges in the 21st century.

ASEAN leaders will also sign a joint declaration on the establishment of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation aimed at enhancing regional security and solving disputes among ASEAN members in peaceful manners.

Moreover, U Thein Sein is expected to have bilateral discussions with leaders from member nations.

The summit will be preceded by many related meetings, such as the ASEAN-EU Business Summit and ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM).

Source: Xinhua