Burma’s President Thein Sein arrives in South Korea on Monday for a three-day state visit designed to boost economic cooperation between the two countries. The visit follows Thein Sein successful trip to the US last week to speak at the UN.
|President Thein Sein accompanied by Burmese officials departs Naypyitaw for his official state visit to South Korea. Photo: President's office|
They will discuss expanding ties in trade, investment, energy and mining, telecommunications, development aid, education and cultural exchanges. The two leaders will also exchange views on regional affairs and cooperation in global issues, including the issue of Burmese arms purchases from North Korea.
In May, Lee offered Burma expanded loan and aid and increased cooperation on energy and resources development, and Thein Sein assured Seoul it would stop buying conventional weapons from North Korea.
Lee also met with Aung San Suu Kyi of the main opposition National League for Democracy in Rangoon and said that democracy should go together with industrial development. He also agreed on the importance of education and said his country would increase loans to Burma to help set up an an economic policy institute and to invite students to study in South Korea.
In April, an economic cooperation forum between the two countries was held in Naypyitaw, joined by a 120-strong South Korean business delegation from 86 private companies and about 260 Burmese businessmen.
In June, Burmese and South Korean businessmen met in Rangoon and discussed cooperation related to textile, garments, dying and raw materials.
In September, a South Korea-Burma business forum was launched in Rangoon to discuss bilateral cooperation in sectors including clothing, hotels and tourism, information and technology, agriculture and forestry, gems and automobile sectors.
Also in June, the 6th Energy and Natural Resources Joint Implementation Committee Meeting between South Korea and Burma was held in Naypyitaw where representatives from the two sides discussed issues involving a joint-venture in the Shwe Natural Gas Project, training courses for staff, and cooperation in technical development in oil and gas sectors, and cooperation in exploring for natural resources, hydropower generation, and construction of a natural gas-fired hydropower plant in Rangoon.
Bilateral trade between Burma and South Korea reached US$ 970 million in 2011.
About three times the size of the Korean Peninsula, Burma has one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves and big deposits of iron ore, zinc, nickel and other mineral resources.
South Korea is Burma’s fourth largest foreign investor as of December 2011, with China, Thailand and Hong Kong the three largest investors.