U Thin Sein Pushes Economic Ties, Dawei Support

President U Thein Sein looked to strengthen business ties with regional economic heavyweights at the 25th ASEAN Summit, including pushing for international support for an ambitious Dawei special economic zone plan.

The president discussed promoting measures for economic growth with his Japanese, Indian and Indonesian counterparts on the sidelines of the event, which was held November 12 to 13 in Nay Pyi Taw.

Progress was made on securing support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the ambitious Dawei special economic zone, according to officials. Located in Tanintharyi Region, the zone is a joint Thai-Myanmar project, but has a troubled history to date.

Japanese assistance has been touted as a key to developing the project, which aims to provide an overland link from the Andaman Sea to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand.

“The Japanese government promised they will assist, and President U Thein Sein called on the Japanese government to invest in the Dawei deep sea port to promote the development of ASEAN,” said deputy information minister U Pite Htwe.

Other cooperation with Japan was agreed to in areas like small business support, building up electricity distribution and reforming Yangon’s transportation.

U Thein Sein also met with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi, promoting investment in the domestic industrial sector and the Dawei and Kyaukphyu special economic zones, as well as promoting trade volumes along the shared border. Meetings with senior Indonesian and Russian leaders were also aimed at promoting economic ties.

Deputy foreign affairs minister U Than Kyaw said it is crucial for Myanmar to enhance and extend its economic ties with the East Asia region in particular.


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