South Korean President to Visit Myanmar on Sept. 3

By The Irrawaddy 26 August 2019

YANGON—South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife will pay a state visit to Myanmar on Sept. 3 at the invitation of the Myanmar President and First Lady.

The visit will be part of Moon’s six-day tour of the region beginning Sept. 1 to build closer ties with Southeast Asian countries. He will first visit Thailand before heading to Myanmar and Laos.

The tour comes ahead of a special meeting with ASEAN member states in November. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moon’s administration has endeavored to improve ties with ASEAN, highlighted by its New Southern Policy, in a bid to broaden South Korea’s diplomatic base.

Upon his arrival in Myanmar, Moon will hold meetings with Union President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

They plan to discuss cooperation on “sustainable win-win growth” for the two nations and “systemic” support to increase the number of South Korean firms doing business in Myanmar, according to the Blue House, as the Korean president’s office is known.

Moon will be the second South Korean president to visit Myanmar since the 1983 attempt to assassinate President Chun Doo-hwan during his visit in 1983. President Lee Myung-bak visited in 2012.

Currently, the two countries are trying to promote economic and trade ties. In Myanmar’s business hub of Yangon, South Korea is building a bridge to link the downtown area with the opposite bank of the Yangon River. It is also investing in industrial zones on the outskirts of the city.

According to Myanmnar government data, South Korea is the sixth-largest foreign investor in the country. As of last month, South Koreans had invested US$3.965 billion in 177 enterprises in Myanmar.  

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