Myanmar signs cooperation pacts with Singapore
DPA SINGAPORE MYANMAR President Thein Sein wrapped up a three-day visit to Singapore on Wednesday after securing agreements to support his programme of economic and political reforms.
Singapore pledged to help train staff in administration, urban development, economic planning, tourism and law.” Singapore will offer technical and vocational education training to support Myanmar’s efforts to build a base of skilled workers,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Long-term targets are to develop institutions to move the country towards an open economy based on democratic principles with modern banking and securities trading, Thein Sein said.
“At present, we do not have the skills and expertise in this area and are seeking technical assistance from international financial institutions,” he told The Straits Times newspaper. Thein Sein also denied that Myanmar had made any nuclear deals with North Korea. Reports in the West last year accused the thenmilitary government of acquiring nuclear technology from Pyongyang.
The retired army general said links between the two nations were purely diplomatic and that Myanmar adheres to the UN non-proliferation regime. Economic and political development in Myanmar has gained speed since Thein Sein’s civilian government took office in March. Reforms have included the release of political prisoners and approval of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to re-enter mainstream politics and contest parliamentary byelections in April.
The government is also making peace deals with ethnic minority rebels.
New efforts by the oncepariah state to engage with the world have already begun to pay dividends.
The US government has decided to send an ambassador to Myanmar for the first time in 24 years, and the EU has lifted travel restrictions on senior military and political figures, including the president.