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State Counsellor Attends ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attended the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney, Australia on March 17 along with other ASEAN and Australian state leaders and senior government figures.

The State Counsellor took part in talks with the ASEAN and Australian leaders on collaborations, bilateral business cooperation and counter-terrorism. She presented Myanmar’s development progress, its challenges, international relations and regional situations with discussion participants. Then the State Counsellor who is also the foreign minister visited Canberra on the Prime Minister’s invitation.

The ASEAN-Australia summit first began in 1974 as the ASEAN-Australia Economic Cooperation Programme (AAECP). Myanmar also celebrated the 40th-year anniversary of the ASEAN-Australia relations in Nay Pyi Taw in 2014. This year’s ASEAN-Australia summit aims to enhance regional security and prosperity. The leaders affirmed the Sydney Declaration in a joint statement from the ASEAN-Australia summit.

Vice-President Attends Crans Montana Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation in Morocco

Vice-President Myint Swe attended the Crans Montana Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation hosted by Morocco from March 16 to 17. During his address at the opening of the forum, the Vice President stressed the urgent need to seek solutions to global problems with collective efforts at the national, regional and world levels.

He said that Myanmar was one of the leading countries in building friendship and solidarity among Asian and African countries over six decades ago, as one of the organizers of the historic Asian-African Conference known as the Bandung Conference. He also pledged that Myanmar will make efforts to revive the solidarity and friendship and explore ways to strengthen trade and economic ties with African friends.

Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance Set Aung and Myanmar Ambassador to Morocco Myint Lwin also attended the sector-wise meetings on normal trading, fishery and sufficiency of food and sustainable development of Africa.

Myanmar and China Agrees to Implement a New Bridge in Shan State

An agreement signing ceremony was held between Myanmar and China in Nay Pyi Taw on March 20 for implementation of the construction project of new Kunlong Bridge that would replace the old one through Chinese aid.

The project, located in northern Shan state, is especially aimed to facilitate the transport of agricultural and livestock products from Myanmar to China, boosting the development of border trade between the two neighbours. The bridge project will not only benefit northern Shan state but also become a part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, according to Han Zaw, Minister for Construction. Once the project is completed, the new bridge would greatly improve the transport and logistics of trade activities between northern Shan state and border areas of China’s Yunnan province, said Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Hong Liang. The old Kunlong Bridge was started constructing in 1964 and completed in 1965 with the assistance of Chinese engineers.