News / Asia

Burma, S. Korea Pledge to Deepen Economic Ties

Burma's President Thein Sein, second from left, inspects an honor guard with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, left, during a welcome ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, October 9, 2012.Burma's President Thein Sein, second from left, inspects an honor guard with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, left, during a welcome ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, October 9, 2012.
x
Burma's President Thein Sein, second from left, inspects an honor guard with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, left, during a welcome ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, October 9, 2012.
Burma's President Thein Sein, second from left, inspects an honor guard with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, left, during a welcome ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, October 9, 2012.
VOA News
Burma's president is drumming up support for more investment in his country as it emerges from decades of military rule.

Burmese President Thein Sein was met by an honor guard and flag-waving children at the Blue House in Seoul Tuesday before meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen economic cooperation and to pursue gas development and power plant construction.

Earlier, President Thein Sein met with officials from small and medium-sized businesses, encouraging them to take another look at Burma.
 
"At present due to political and economic developments in our country there are opportunities as well as challenges in foreign investments.  In this regard, SMEs [Small and Medium Enterprises] in Myanmar should be prepared to face challenges as well as effectively utilizing investment opportunities.  Thus we look forward to receiving necessary assistance and co-operation from Kbiz [Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business],'' he said.

The United States and other countries have been lifting trade sanctions against Burma in response to reforms by the country's military-backed government, making the resource-rich southeast Asian nation a prime candidate for investment and development.

Just last week, a South Korean firm signed a deal to build a 500 megawatt power plant in Rangoon.  

But while Burma is eager to attract foreign investment, potential investors have raised questions about the pace of reform and access to the country's natural resources.

In New York last week for the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Burmese President Thein Sein told VOA there is reason for caution.

"There is danger of business people ending with some control in administrative matters," he said. "That’s why it’s important not to have a negative impact on our sovereignty.  It’s also important not to destroy our environment.  We don’t want our natural resources to be extracted leaving nothing behind."

President Thein Sein's three-day visit comes about five months after Lee became the first South Korean president to visit Burma in almost 30 years.

Before Lee, the last South Korean president to visit Burma was Chun Doo-hwan, who narrowly escaped a 1983 assassination attempt in Rangoon by North Korean commandos.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs