President Aquino to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues with Myanmar President Thein Sein

MANILA, Dec. 3 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III and Myanmar President Thein Sein will meet on Thursday in Malacanang to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues, and ways to further enhance the partnership between the Philippines and Myanmar.

The Myanmar President will arrive on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to Manila, upon the invitation of President Aquino.

The visiting head of state will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday.

President Thein Sein will first go to Rizal Park on Thursday for the wreath-laying rites at the foot of the monument of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, before proceeding to the Palace.

The two leaders will meet to discuss issues of mutual concern, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, energy, cultural exchanges and information cooperation, among others.

They will also discuss regional issues, including Myanmar’s historic chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014.

The two leaders will also attend the signing of agreements such as a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines and Myanmar on Information Cooperation, a bilateral agreement on visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports and a Memorandum of Agreement between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and another on renewable energy.

President Aquino will host a state luncheon in honor of the visiting head of state at the Aguinaldo Room of Malacanang.

The Myanmar President will then visit the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The state visit is President Thein Sein’s first visit to the Philippines since his assumption to office in 2011. The last time a head of state from Myanmar visited the Philippines was in 2005 when Prime Minister Soe Win visited Manila.

President Aquino and President Thein Sein had their first bilateral meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on June 7, 2013, when the Chief Executive attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia hosted by Myanmar. It will be the Philippines turn to host the said forum in 2015.

Myanmar donated seven tons of relief goods and USD 100,000 to the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The Philippines and Myanmar established diplomatic relations in 1956 and will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their relations in 2016. (PNA)