Myanmar and South Korea launched an economic cooperation forum at the Myanmar Convention Center in Nay Pyi Taw Friday, aimed at enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
The forum was organized by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
A 120-strong S. Korean business delegation from 86 private companies and about 260 Myanmar businessmen attended the forum.
The forum covers discussions mainly on investment environment of Myanmar, major economic development plan and policy, business opportunities and potential, and Korea's economic development and its future.
The discussions involved Myanmar's Investment Commission, National Planning and Economic Development Ministry, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) as well as Korea Development Institute (KDI), KEPCO and Daewoo International.
Myanmar Minister of National Planning and Economic Development U Tin Naing Thein said the forum promoted long-standing friendship between Myanmar and S. Korea, while Korean Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy Cho Seok said Korean companies hope to cooperate with Myanmar in technology and human resources development, disclosing that the Korean government will provide Official Development Aid to Myanmar.
The Korean business delegation includes those from companies engaged in infrastructural construction, chemicals and food, banking, research and development, hotel, department store, foodstuff and media.
On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding on ecoonmic cooperation was signed between the UMFCCI and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The Korean entrepreneurs hold that they want to put a first hand into the Myanmar market in the light of Myanmar's recent political and economic reforms after the new government took office on March 30, 2011.
Attached with the forum was also a Korea-Myanmar business luncheon, hosted by the chairman of Maekyuang Media Group.
The Daewoo International said in a press release that since the start-up of its oil and gas exploration in Myanmar in 2000, the company made a series of significant gas discovery, citing Shwe and Shwe Phyu gas fields in block A-1 in 2004 and 2005 respectively and Mya field in block A-3 in 2006.
Daewoo is looking forward to expanding its collaboration with Myanmar in onshore oil and gas and mineral exploration and development sector.
Daewoo has reportedly invested 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in gas exploration in Myanmar,
Meanwhile, bilateral trade between Myanmar and S. Korea reached 970 million U.S. dollars in 2011, according to Korean statistics.
Of the total, S. Korea's export to Myanmar amounted to 660 million U.S. dollars, while its import from the Southeast Asian member stood at 300 million U.S. dollars.
S. Korea mainly imports from Myanmar garment, textile, forestry products, agriculture and marine products while exporting to Myanmar construction materials, machines, iron and steel.
S. Korea's investment in Myanmar hit 2.9 billion U.S. dollars as of January, 2012 in 48 projects since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, according to Myanmar official statistics.