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Seminar on Myanmar-Japan Economic C

Xinhua, May 29, 2001, Tuesday 1:31 AM Eastern Time

Seminar on Myanmar-Japan Economic Cooperation Held in Yangon


The fourth seminar on Myanmar-Japan economic cooperation is being held here 
to review the two
countries' economic cooperation in the last few years.

The two-day seminar, which began on Monday, is also aimed at exploring 
opportunities and prospects
for wider economic cooperation between Myanmar and Japan, encouraging 
Japanese entrepreneurs to
make more investment in Myanmar and conducting technical and training 
programs for development of
human resources.

Attending the seminar are officials of five Myanmar ministries and the 
Union of Myanmar Federation
of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) as well as Japanese entrepreneurs.

In February 1998, Myanmar and Japanese federations of CCI established an 
economic cooperation
committee to work for the enhancement of bilateral economic cooperation 
between the two countries.

Japan, which was once Myanmar's biggest donor country, suspended its aid to 
Myanmar in 1988 on
account of the country's domestic political reason, but resumed its 
humanitarian aid since 1995. Of the
aid, that in 2000 amounted to 1.5 billion yens (12.78 million U.S. 
dollars), a 70.45 percent increase
over 1999.

In addition, the Japanese government also resumed in March this year its 
official development assistance
(ODA) to Myanmar which had been suspended for 13 years by extending 849 
million yens (6. 98
million dollars) of the ODA.

Besides, Japan has also extended to Myanmar for 19 times a total debt 
relief of 386.45 million dollars.

According to official statistics, since Myanmar opened to foreign 
investment in 1988, Japan's
investment in the country has reached 232 million dollars in 22 projects, 
covering the sectors of oil and
gas, manufacturing, real estate, mining and hotels and tourism. The 
Japanese investment ranked the ninth
in the line-up of Myanmar's foreign investors coming from 25 countries and 

Meanwhile, Japan has become Myanmar's fifth largest trading partner after 
Singapore, China, Thailand
and the Republic of Korea. Its bilateral trade with Myanmar stood at 265.61 
million dollars in 2000,
accounting for 6.5 percent of Myanmar's foreign trade of 4.086 billion 
dollars during the year.