Xi’s Myanmar Visit Expected to Boost Trade, Investment

Photo taken on Jan. 14, 2020 shows the Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)

NAY PYI TAW (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Myanmar is expected to lead to sustainable development in two-way trade and further strengthen bilateral cooperation, Myanmar’s Minister of Commerce Than Myint told Xinhua on Thursday.

“Our friendship will be renewed, mutual understanding will be consolidated, and China-Myanmar cooperation will be further promoted, so we are proud of it and warmly welcome the visit,” he said, commenting on Xi’s Myanmar trip on Jan. 17-18.

Noting that China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner and an important source of foreign investment, the minister said it is expected to see continuous growth in bilateral trade, with both countries importing more from each other.

A man works at a motorbike factory in China (Yunnan) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Dehong Area in Dehong, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Nov. 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)

Talking about the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), he said projects within these frameworks will boost trade and there will be growing investment from China in Myanmar in a broad-ranging sectors, including transportation and electricity, of which Myanmar is in need.

“China is becoming a leading country in the world and contributes a lot to global economic growth. We, as a neighboring country, can also share China’s development through stepped-up cooperation,” he said.

Through bilateral cooperation, China can offer technical assistance to Myanmar and such cooperation will be beneficial to China as well, the minister added.

There are many inspiring things happening in China, such as the way how they achieve economic growth, how they develop technologies and how they promote people-to-people exchanges between entrepreneurs, professionals and others, he said.

“And we need to learn those things from China,” he added.

People visit the first Myanmar (Lashio)-China (Lincang) border economic and trade fair in Lashio, Myanmar, Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo by Haymhan Aung/Xinhua)

In terms of the China-Myanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone, one of the three pillars of the CMEC, he said such efforts will help develop the economy in residential areas of ethnic groups, forge stronger bonds between the two peoples and also contribute to peace in the region.

On Xi’s visit, the minister stressed that this state visit will make the “Paukphaw” (fraternal) friendship between Myanmar and China “more meaningful.”

“We will maintain and continue this kind of relationship and further promote the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in government-to-government and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries,” he said.