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German president's official visit to Myanmar to bring bilateral relations closer

English.news.cn   2014-02-09 10:59:15

YANGON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- German President Joachim Gauck is due to arrive in Yangon later on Sunday on his first ever official visit to Myanmar and the visit is expected to enhance Myanmar- Germany bilateral relations.

Gauck is set to meet Myanmar President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw and had talks on bilateral relations and cooperation.

During his stay in Yangon, Gauck will inaugurate the first German Goethe Institute.

Besides attending Myanmar-Germany business forum, Gauck will also give speech at the University of Yangon, sources said.

Myanmar and Germany saw economic and cultural cooperation in 2013 encouraged by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelles's visit to Myanmar in 2012.

During 2013, the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) signed an agreement with its Myanmar counterpart, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), to open its representative office in Yangon.

The business representative office would support Myanmar's efforts to finalize the draft of a small and medium-sized enterprises law.

The move also helps German companies start business here, connecting them with Myanmar partners, offering Myanmar firms a forum to discuss any difficulties they may have in working with them.

German companies have interest in Myanmar's infrastructure projects including railways and electricity supply as well as consumer products and car industry.

In early February, German International Cooperation (GIZ) offered to assist three Myanmar private banks in terms of financial techniques for the development of country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The aid program will run from March 2014 to September 2015.

According to official figures, bilateral trade between Myanmar and Germany amounted to 187.53 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2012-13, of which Germany's import from Myanmar totaled 42.98 million U.S. dollars while its export to Myanmar stood 144.55 million dollars.

The bilateral trade figures for the first six months (April- September) of 2013-14 went to 48.14 million dollars.

Germany's investment in the Southeast Asian nation amounted to 17.5 million U.S. dollars as of July 2013 since Myanmar opened to such investment in late 1988.

Germany announced decision to resume full-scale development aid to Myanmar following that of the European Union to suspend sanctions against the country for one year.

Germany is known as the second-largest donor to Myanmar after Japan.

Editor: chengyang
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