Jul 11, 2013

Australia pledges AUD 100 million for Myanmar's education reform

Visiting Senator and Foreign Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia Bob Carr has pledged 100 million Australian dollars' grant aid to Myanmar for its education reform this year, official media reported Thursday.

Carr made the pledge when meeting with Myanmar President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw Wednesday.

It is Australia's another grant aid to Myanmar after the 5 million Australian dollars' aid provided for Myanmar's peace making process with ethnic armed groups.

Carr called for promoting trade with and investment in Myanmar.

At the meeting, U Thein Sein thanked Australia for AusAid's assistance to Myanmar, extending invitation through Carr to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to visit Myanmar.

The pair also held talks on educational and healthcare programs for victims in western Rakhine state.

It is Carr's second visit to Myanmar in a year. During his last visit in June 2012, Australia announced lifting of its remaining financial and travel sanctions on Myanmar, while keeping arms embargo in place.

In March 2013, U Thein Sein visited Canberra, during which he met with Gillard who announced that the country will increase aid to Myanmar in recognition of Myanmar's reform.

As part of a growing aid program, Australia pledged an additional 20 million Australian dollars over two years for the first phase of the new Myanmar-Australia Partnership for Reform.

Aiming to enhance trade and investment ties with Myanmar, Australia has assigned a resident Trade Commissioner to Yangon.

Besides, Australia will also lift some restrictions on defence engagement and will post a resident Defence Attach to Myanmar.

Moreover, the Myanmar-Australia Partnership for Reform will also provide assistance for the development of the mining sector in Myanmar. (One U.S. dollar equals to 1.097 Australian dollars).

Source: Xinhua