Burma, Czech Republic Sign MoU on Trade

By Lin Thant 9 September 2016

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Burma and the Czech Republic entered into historic economic relations on Monday when the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation.

The International Business Promotion Centre (IBPC), the second largest independent business association in Burma, and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic signed the MoU at a Czech-Burma economic forum in Prague. It is the first of its kind in six decades.

U Ai Tun, chairman of IBPC, said the MoU covers Czech investment in Burma, Burma’s exports to the Czech Republic, and cooperation between Burmese and Czech business professionals in mining and agricultural production.

“The Czech Republic is a technologically advanced country; they export good quality machinery for a reasonable price. My company has already bought machinery from them,” said U Ai Tun, who is also the chairman of Shwetaung Development Co.

The signatories view the bilateral cooperation as an entry point to the EU market for Burma and a way into the Asian market for the Czech Republic.

František Chaloupecký, vice-chairman of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, said his country is not only interested in exporting to Burma, but also wants to promote bilateral relations with Burma as an economic partner.

He said the Czech government knows that Burma’s banking system and intellectual property rights issues remain challenges, but the Czech Republic is ready to help the country with those sectors.

The Burmese business delegation comprised over 30 members and will finish its trip to Europe on Sept. 12. They plan to sign a similar MOU with Croatia.

“Suffice to say our mission was successful,” business delegation leader U Ai Tun said of the Czech Republic visit.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko