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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:42, March 01, 2006
Indonesian president arrives in Myanmar for state visit
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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived here Wednesday afternoon to pay a state visit to Myanmar to boost bilateral relations between Myanmar and Indonesia as well as regional ties.

Myanmar is Susilo's final leg of a three-nation tour which has also taken him to Brunei and Cambodia, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

During the visit, Susilo will meet Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Senior-General Than Shwe and bilateral issues including economic cooperation will top the agenda of their discussions, diplomatic sources said.

A memorandum of understanding on setting up an Indonesia- Myanmar Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation is expected to be among those to be signed during the tour.

The two-day trip is Susilo's first visit to Myanmar since he became president in 2004 and is also the second trip to Yangon by an Indonesian top leader after former President Megawati Soekarnoputri came in August 2001 for a working visit.

Indonesia is Myanmar's fourth largest trading partner among ASEAN members after Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Indonesia's trade volume with Myanmar stood at 104.7 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2004-05, according to official statistics. Indonesia's exports to Myanmar amounted to 50.6 million dollars, while its import from Myanmar was valued at 54.1 million dollars.

Recently, Indonesia has established the first direct sea trade route with Myanmar operating between Jakarta and Yangon in a bid to broaden its network in the Southeast Asian region. The route will also enable Myanmar export goods to be shipped directly to Indonesia without requiring to transit through intervening ports. Direct trade link between Bandung and Yangon is also being sought.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's investment in Myanmar has so far reached over 241 million dollars since late 1988 when Myanmar opened to such investment.

Source: Xinhua

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