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China-Myanmar relations expected to flourish

Premier Li Keqiang is due to arrive in Myanmar for an official visit and to attend a series of meetings of the East Asia Summit. His visit aims to enhance the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic partnership.

Li Keqiang’s upcoming official visit to Myanmar is the first for the country by a Chinese premier since the new leadership took place, and is very important to promoting China-Myanmar’s friendship.

Experts say relations have entered a new historic era, maintaining a positive pattern of development.

“China and Myanmar are land neighbors with each other...bilateral trade between China and Myanmar were small and at low level, but the potential is huge,” Gao Zhikai, member of China-Myanmar Friendship Association, said.

In 2013, trade between China and Myanmar amounted to $10.15 billion, a sharp rise from the data of 2003.

In the first nine months of 2014, bilateral trade reached $17.75 billion, an increase of 185 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

China is Myanmar’s biggest trade partner, biggest import market and second export market. Last year, 30 percent of Myanmar’s overseas trade was with China.

Myanmar is also one of the important foreign countries for overseas investment targeted by Chinese enterprises.

“Based on the high complimentarities between the two countries....in all the areas, China is well positioned to provide assistance and engage actively with the economic reform and construction in Myanmar,” Gao said.

Experts say that China-Myanmar relations now have development opportunities which were previously unavailable.

The Chinese government places neighboring countries as its top priority in its foreign policy, and strives for China’s development to benefit neighbour countries and enhance joint development.

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