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Myanmar- Vietnam step up economic cooperation

YANGON, March 14 (Xinhua) — Myanmar and Vietnam vowed to step up mutual cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, livestock, trade, investment, communications and transport.

Strengthening economic ties were the priority when Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Nay Pyi Taw Monday who was on an official visit to Myanmar since the weekend at the invitation of his Myanmar counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin.

On the occasion, 12 Myanmar private companies, led by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) , signed several memorandums of understanding with Vietnamese entrepreneurs on furthering economic cooperation.

An agreement on establishment of sister-city ties between Yangon and Ho Chi Minh cities was also signed at the Yangon City Hall, attended by Yangon Chief Minister U Myint Swe and Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyi Thi Hong.

A business meeting on boosting investment, trading and tourism between Yangon and Ho Chi Minh cities and a photo show in the aspects were also inaugurated on the occasion by U Myint Swe and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh city Communist Party Committee Le Thanh Hai who was received by Myanmar Vice President U Tin Aung Myint Oo.

Yangon and Ho Chi Minh cities have established air links in November 2010 as the second air route connecting Myanmar and Vietnam with the Vietnam Airlines flying between the two cities thrice a week by Airbus A320 in addition to Yangon-Hanoi’s.

In December 2011, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Myanmar to attend the 4th Summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) held in Nay Phi Taw.

During his visit, Dung met with Myanmar President U Thein Sein and the two leaders held talks on promoting bilateral cooperation under the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation program ( GMS) and mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as communications, transport, agriculture, livestock, tourism, forestry, trade and investment.

The two countries then signed two memorandums of understanding on agricultural and rural development cooperation and provision of technical fund by Vietnam for agricultural development.

in 1994, the two countries established a joint committee for economic, cultural, and scientific and technical cooperation.

According to official statistics, Myanmar-Vietnam bilateral trade amounted to 121.8 million U.S dollars in the first three quarters of 2011, an increase of 6.2 percent compared with the same period of 2010.

Vietnam mainly imports from Myanmar its forestry products, marine products, vegetables and rubber while exporting to Myanmar iron products, machines and spare parts, plastic, textile and clothing.

Vietnam’s investment in Myanmar hit 23.649 million USD as of November, 2011 since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, according to official statistics.

Besides bilateral cooperation, the two sides also closely coordinate in regional and international forums, including Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), and with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar ( CLMV).

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