Duterte to visit Myanmar

Duterte to visit Myanmar

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File photo by Karl Norman Alonzo/Presidential Photo

DAVAO CITY, March 18, 2017 — President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting Myanmar this week, with the departure set from the Francisco Bangoy International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

Duterte’s arrival is set the same day, Mar. 19.

According to Palace communications, President Duterte is scheduled to meet Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Myanmar.

“President Duterte’s visit to Myanmar is significant in many respects. In particular, the discussion will include talks on improving trade and investment relations,” said Alex Chua, Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

The official visit, which will be from March 19 to 20, will coincide with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Myanmar bilateral relations.

“Commemorative activities have been held beginning last year and the President’s visit to Myanmar this year is the culmination of the celebration of this milestone in our friendly relations with Myanmar,” said Chua.

According to Chua, this year, the Philippine President’s visit to Myanmar, an ASEAN member country, symbolizes the Philippines’ commitment to the shared aspiration and values of ASEAN. This year, the Philippines is the ASEAN Chair as the region celebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN.

During President Duterte’s visit, Chua said, the Memorandum of Understanding on Food Security and Agricultural Cooperation will be signed between the two governments.

President Duterte will meet with the key political figures in Myanmar.  “President Duterte’s meeting with President U Htin Kyaw, Myanmar’s first civilian President in five decades, is a concrete manifestation of the Philippines’ continued support for countries in the region,” Chua said.

The President will also meet State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss regional cooperation and Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to explore deepening of bilateral defense cooperation.

Since the establishment of bilateral relations 60 years ago in 1956, the economic relations between the Philippines and Myanmar grow, Chua said.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s trade statistics, the Philippines’ top exports to Myanmar are medicaments or therapeutic or prophylactic uses. While the country’s major imports from Myanmar are agricultural products.

The Embassy is hopeful that the recently concluded sister city agreement between Quezon City and the Yangon region, the first twinning agreement signed between the two countries and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Franchise Association and the Myanmar Retailers Association will facilitate stronger business relations between the Philippines and Myanmar.


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