YANGON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar new Prime Minister Thein Sein, who has
been promoted to a military rank of general, will pay official visits to Laos
and Vietnam in the near future, according to an official announcement from Nay
Pyi Taw Wednesday.
It will be the first trip abroad for Thein Sein after he was appointed
prime minister on Oct. 24.
In March this year, Lao President Choummaly Sayasone visited Nay Pyi Taw,
while in October-November Myanmar Foreign Miniaster UNyan Win visited Vientiane,
during which a meeting of Laos-Myanmar Joint Commission for Bilateral
Cooperation was held.
Myanmar and Laos are friendly neighbors, enjoying good bilateral relations.
In January this year, Myanmar and Laos upgraded the two countries' respective
border check points to meet international standard to boost arrivals of world
tourists and those from the third countries visiting the two border areas.
These checkpoints are Wan Pong in Tachilek of Eastern Shan state on the
Myanmar side and Ban Muang Mom on the Lao side. The Mekong River flows between
the two towns as a border line.
Myanmar and Laos have also been placing emphasis on peace and security and
development in the two countries' border areas, cooperating in drug control and
agreeing to prevent trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances, and
control banned chemicals.
Besides, Myanmar and Laos are also cooperating in agricultural, forestry
and marine sectors.
Meanwhile, in August this year, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
visited Nay Pyi Taw, during which mutual cooperation and enhancement of friendly
and cooperative relations between the two countries, especially in economy,
trade and investment were touched upon with a memorandum of understanding on
strategic cooperation between Vietnam and Myanmar in oil and gas being also
According to official statistics, Myanmar and Vietnam had a bilateral trade
volume of 70.5 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2006-07 which ended in
March, up from 54.4 million dollars in2005-06. Of the total, Myanmar's exports
to Vietnam took up 58.23 million dollars, while its imports from Vietnam
amounted to 12.27 million dollars, enjoying a trade surplus of 45.96 million
The two countries are striving to raise the bilateral trade volume to 100
million dollars in 2007-08, according to a decision by the Myanmar-Vietnam Joint