Jun 30, 2013

U.S and Myanmar reach bilateral trade agreement

Myanmar and the United States reached a new bilateral agreement for economic cooperation yesterday, said a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Yangon.

The agreement was signed by Sett Aung, Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economic Development and U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell. It formalises President Obama's November 2012 pledge to provide US$170 million in assistance to Myanmar over the next two years, the release said.

“We saw development in Myanmar’s democratic reform two year ago. The reform plans can create not only better opportunities but also new challenges. The agreement is a commitment by both countries to continue to support Myanmar's democratic reform which was said to be in steady progress,” the U.S Ambassador said in the press release.

The bilateral agreement details the guidance for cooperative support between the two governments. This includes the provision of aid and development assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The first Myanmar-U.S. Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed in September 1950, under which USAID and the Myanmar government worked together to provide a range of assistance including training, technical services, grants and agricultural commodities until 1962 when USAID was closed.

However, USAID continued to provide limited assistance until 1989. Starting in 1998, USAID resumed targeted health program and in 2008 it supported the humanitarian response following cyclone Nargis.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media