Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Myanmar president's Indonesia visit further strengthens bilateral relations

May 10, 2011

The state visit of Myanmar President U Thein Sein to Indonesia, which ended on Monday, has further strengthened the two countries' bilateral friendship and cooperation, observers said here on Tuesday.

During his visit, Thein Sein had comprehensive discussions with his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on strengthening and promotion of existing bilateral friendship and cooperation, close relations with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and active participation in international and regional organizations including the United Nations, continued participation in world affairs based on the five principles of peaceful existence and continued cooperation in various sectors as trade partners in pursuit of Myanmar's economic development.

The two countries' delegations, respectively led by Thein Sein and Susilo, also held talks separately with other Indonesia officials.

Indonesian president Susilo underlined Thein Sein's visit as paving the way for creating opportunities to strengthen bilateral relations and boost bilateral cooperation.

He suggested to promote exchange of visits at all levels as part of efforts for maintaining bilateral friendship, expressing Indonesia's firm support for Myanmar's democratization process as part of efforts for political and security cooperation.

Hailing Myanmar's efforts for national unity and perpetuation of national sovereignty, he said that the two countries has aimed a trade volume of 500 million U.S. dollars, anticipating to invest in development projects in Myanmar which he described as having possessed economic prospects.

He also expressed welcome of Thein Sein's suggestion and idea as well as national reconsolidation efforts.

He invited Myanmar to take part in an ASEAN exhibition to promote ASEAN community relations, the proposal of which will be submitted to ASEAN Summit in Bali scheduled for in November.

At the bilateral talks, Myanmar president U Thein Sein expressed Myanmar's belief that the relations and cooperation between the two countries would contribute not only to bilateral interest but also regional peace and development.

He cited January 2011 economic data as saying that the amount of investment of 12 Indonesian companies have made Indonesia take the 10th position among foreign investors in Myanmar, appealing for promotion of both state and private sectors' investment in the country.

He also urged boosting of cooperation in the tourism sector, saying that both countries have historic cultural heritage, beautiful scenery and beaches, adding that plans are underway to launch Yangon-Singapore-Jakarta flights which will be finalized at the second meeting of the joint commission for bilateral cooperation to be held in Myanmar at this year-end.

Noting system change in Myanmar, he invited Indonesian investment in Myanmar's various sectors such as agriculture, mining and oil and gas.

Thein Sein's state visit to Indonesia represented his first overseas trip in a month after he became the president on March 30.

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 also attended the 18th ASEAN Summit in the weekend.

Source: Xinhua