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Premier Li’s visit to further ties with Myanmar

Updated: Nov 7,2014 7:34 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China and Myanmar will promote cooperation in connectivity, agriculture, port, power and finance during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the country, said Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin on Thursday.

Li will attend a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation from Nov. 12 to 14 in Myanmar, and pay an official visit to the country at the invitation of Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein.

This is Li’s first visit to Myanmar since he took office, said Liu, adding that the visit was of great significance in boosting traditional friendship and the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries.

Besides economic cooperation, the two sides will also discuss exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, youth, education and media, said Liu.

Bilateral cooperation has been deepened in economic and trade, defense, security and culture in recent years thanks to the frequent exchanges between the leaderships of two countries, he said.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein will attend a dialogue on strengthening connectivity partnership during the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week from Nov. 5 to 11 in Beijing.

The two countries are highly complementary in the economic field, said Assistant Commerce Minister Tong Daochi, adding that promoting economic and trade cooperation is in line with the common interests of the two sides.

Bilateral trade volume reached $10.15 billion in 2013, a tenfold increase over the past decade, said Tong.

Bilateral trade volume has grown by 185.1 percent to $17.75 billion from January to September this year, he added.

China has become Myanmar’s largest trading partner, second export market and first source of imports, he said, noting that Myanmar was an important investment destination for Chinese companies.

The big cooperative projects, including the China-Myanmar Oil and Gas Pipeline Project and the Myanmar Taguang Taung Nickel Ore Project, have made positive contribution to boosting local economic and social development, said Tong.

China is working with all relevant countries to promote the construction of an economic corridor among China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, and to strengthen regional interconnection under the framework of “One Belt and One Road”.

This framework refers to the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, concepts put forward by President Xi Jinping during his visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013.

U Thein Sein said Myanmar will actively participate and promote the construction of the economic corridor during his visit to China in June.

During Li’s visit to Myanmar, the two sides will sign a number of cooperative documents in economic and trade, in a bid to push forward bilateral economic ties and benefit people of the two countries, said Tong.

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