Speech delivered by H.E. U Thant Sin at the 72nd Anniversary of the Independence Day Reception
Speech delivered by H.E. U Thant Sin at the 72nd Anniversary of the Independence Day Reception
  • Hwan-chul Shin
  • 승인 2020.01.15 14:57
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Lotte Hotel, 9 January 2020
H.E. U Thant Sin

Among Seoul Embassies, the Embassy of Myanmar hosted its 72nd Anniversary diplomatic reception to mark Myanmar Independence Day in a downtown hotel Seoul as the first start of diplomatic functions last Thursday.

Through his welcome remarks, Myanmar envoy U Thant Sin touched upon that the attendence of Mr. Kim Gunn, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from Korea demonstrates the great support to the bilateral relations between our two countries, adding as common Asian countries, Myanmar & Korea have many similarities, showing affinities among each other peoples as well as achieving independence & democracy.

The following is a full spech text delivered by Myanmar envoy on the podium. -Ed.

A very good evening to all of you.

Today, we celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. On behalf of the Embassy of Myanmar, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all the guests presence here today. My special thanks goes to His Excellency Kim Gunn, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea. Your Excellency’s presence demonstrates the great support to the bilateral relations between our two countries.

First of all, I would like to explain briefly of the background of Myanmar’s Independence. Myanmar, which had existed as an independent and sovereign country throughout the history, lost its independence in November 1885 and went under the colonial rule for many decades.

To regain independence, all national races together with patriotic leaders, sacrificed their life with untiring determination and diligence, under the guidance of our national hero General Aung San, who was the father of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Due to the unified effort of our people, Myanmar regained its independence and emerged as the sovereign state, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, on 4th January 1948.

The present government has committed to build a democratic federal union so that entire Myanmar people can fully enjoy justice, freedom, equal rights and self-determination.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Korea was established in May 1975, so that this year marks a significant year for our two countries as we celebrate the 45thAnniversary. As Asian countries, Myanmar and Korea enjoy many commonalities including cultural affinities. We also share the experiences of our struggles for independence and democracy.

In recent years, the political interaction at the highest level has increased. In terms of high-level political exchanges, we were happy to host the visit of President Moon Jae-in in last September. During the state visit, we were able to sign 5 significant MoUs on Trade, Investment and Finance and 1 Framework Agreement on the establishment of a Korea Desk in Myanmar. Furthermore, Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex (KMIC) project in northern part of Yangon with the cost of 110 million USD was also launched during the visit.

In late November last year, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited Korea to attend the 30thAnniversary of ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit and 1stMekong-ROK Summit. During the visit, two leaders yet again witnessed the signing of 3 MoUs focusing on cooperation in fisheries, TVET and environmental sectors.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Myanmar and Korea have great potential to promote investment and trade sectors. Despite the current global economic uncertainties, Myanmar economy is projected to grow by 6.6 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank, a tad higher than its 6.5 percent projection for the last year.

The trade volume between our two countries has been steadily increasing year by year. In terms of investment, Korea stands as the 6th largest foreign investor with 4 billion USD invested in 200 projects, which include Myanmar-Korea Friendship Bridge and KMIC.

Taking this opportunity, I wish to express our deep appreciation to Korean Government for extending its assistance to uplift the economy and create job opportunities for the people of Myanmar.

People to People exchanges are key to our bilateral relations. To promote tourism sector between our two countries, Korean tourists holding ordinary passports have been granted visa exemption by Myanmar since September 2018. Arrival of Korean tourists has increased to 80 percent in 2019 compared to the same period prior to granting the visa exemption status.

The commencement of another direct flight between Yangon and Incheon by Myanmar Airways International last month is yet another milestone in people-to-people connectivity between our two countries.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We welcome the New Southern Policy of the Republic of Korea which aims to elevate Korea’s relationship with ASEAN member countries. While we congratulate the Government of Korea for the successful hosting of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, we would like to reaffirm our strong commitment to enhance our bilateral ties and cooperation in the years ahead for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples.

Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to all distinguished guests for your kind presence this evening out of your busy schedules. And I also would like to extend my deep appreciation to my colleagues and friends for their kind support to this event.

Finally, may I invite all of you to join me in a toast: “To the peace and prosperity of Myanmar and Korea and the happiness of our people.”

Gamsahabnida.

Hwan-chul Shin  bodo@ndnnews.co.kr

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