The bilateral economic and trade relations between Myanmar and China continued to develop in recent years, attributing to being deepened by China's policy of good neighborly and friendly cooperation with its neighbors including Myanmar as well as Myanmar's of maintaining friendship with neighbors.
According to official statistics, Myanmar-China bilateral trade, including border trade, exceeded US$1 billion in 2003 with Myanmar's exports to China amounting to about 170 million and its imports from China 900 million.
Under the economic and technical cooperation between the two countries, Chinese companies have initiated a large number of projects in Myanmar, covering hydropower plants, commercial network projects, cement and paper plants, agricultural machinery factories, bridge projects and processing of forest and marine products.
Myanmar official figures indicate that China has so far injected over US$64 million into the country in over 10 projects, ranking the 15th in the line-up of Myanmar's foreign investment.
Of China's investment in Myanmar, Yunnan Province's in major projects, already completed, has reached US$227 million. These projects include some container wharves, exported dredges, cement plants and exported hydropower plant equipment.
On the basis of mutual benefit, China encourages its major domestic companies to engage in overseas investment to enhance its economic and trade links with developing countries, thus prompting a large number of Chinese companies to have access to Myanmar for exploring more prospects in the country.
Meanwhile, several exchanges of visits between leaders of the two countries in recent years has also strongly pushed the development of their economic and trade ties. According to numeral agreements signed during their visits to each other's country, China has extended to Myanmar a great deal of assistance in projects of agriculture, industry, transport, electric power, education, health and human resources development.
Especially during Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than Shwe's visit to China in early January 2003, an agreement on economic and technical cooperation, which is one of the three, is for China to provide a 50 million yuans of aid to Myanmar and a largest ever preferential loan of US$200 million at low interest rate for carrying out Myanmar's 790-megawatt Yeywa hydropower project.
Also during Chinese former Vice Premier Li Lanqing's visit to Myanmar in late January 2003, the two sides reached an agreement on partial debt relief for Myanmar, a memorandum of understanding on extending a grant for the supply of cultural, educational and sporting goods by China to Myanmar and another MoU on the program of aerospace and maritime courses by China to Myanmar.
Moreover, during Assistant Minister of Commerce of China Chen Jian's visit to Myanmar in December 2002, the two sides signed a framework agreement on China's provision of concessional loan and another agreement on economic and technical cooperation. These loans extended by China are believed to contribute to the improvement of Myanmar's infrastructural and economic development.
This week, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi will pay an official visit to Myanmar as the third leg of her four-Asian-nation tour which also covers Laos, Cambodia and Maldives.
Wu's visit is believed to further push the development of China-Myanmar bilateral economic and trade ties.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2004)