Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Japanese trade minister brings corporate leaders


Wednesday, 11 January 2012 21:21 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – More Asian countries are lining up to do business in Burma, with Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano arriving Thursday with a high-profile group of businessmen.

Among the Japanese companies represented in the delegation are Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsui & Co, Itochu, JX Nippon Oil & Energy and Marubeni, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

“Economic interest in Myanmar is growing greatly. We plan to move forward with talks, especially on infrastructure development, with various economic committees,” Hiromasa Yonekura, the chairman of Nippon Keidanren, Japan's biggest business lobby, was quoted as saying.

Smaller Japanese companies, especially in textiles and fisheries, want to do business in Burma, and bigger firms are taking an interest, said Yoshihiro Araki, senior researcher at the Japan External Trade Organization, according to Reuters.

“Other countries are rushing in,” he said. “Japanese businesses are thinking they cannot lose this race.”

The Mainichi Daily newspaper quoted Edano saying: “Given Myanmar’s momentum toward democratization, we intend to hold discussions in both public and private sectors to strengthen the two countries' economic relationships.”

Earlierm Edano told at a press conference Japan could help Burma’s move toward democracy by helping to realize improvement in people's livelihoods and the country's economic growth.

His visit comes just days after Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba visited the country and held talks with top government leaders and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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