STAFF REPORTER, AAP
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 08:55
The federal government will open an Austrade office in Myanmar (also known as Burma) this year which will help Australian mining companies capitalise on business opportunities in the newly-emerging southeast Asian nation.
The Austrade office in Yangon (Rangoon), the country's commercial capital, will eventually be staffed by a trade commissioner and locally-sourced business development managers.
It's the latest step by the government to renew ties with Myanmar as the nation moves slowly toward democracy after decades of military rule and international isolation.
Last year, Labor lifted travel and financial sanctions against Myanmar in response to political reforms in the country.
The Austrade office is the result of this new commercial relationship, and will assist Australian companies looking to secure a stake in Myanmar's attractive but challenging markets.
Myanmar, formerly Burma, is southeast Asia's largest mainland nation. It's economy is forecast to grow around six per cent in 2013 and boasts significant investment opportunities, from natural resources like oil and gas and a growing population.
"This is another step in the Government's commitment to expand Australia's diplomatic and commercial footprint in Asia," trade minister Craig Emerson said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This new office will support Australia's businesses in education and training, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure, mining and tourism."
At an annual meeting of Australia and British ministers in Perth this month, both nations recognised the steps taken on democratic reform in Myanmar and pledged to encourage responsible investment in the nation as it opens up to the world.
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