Australia to open trade office in Myanmar


Australia will open an Austrade office in Myanmar this year as part of the Gillard Government's drive to help businesses break into and expand in Asia's emerging and growth markets, Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to him, the office would be opened in Yangon, Myanmar 's commercial center. When fully operational, it will be staffed by a Trade Commissioner supported by a number of locally-engaged business development managers.

Myanmar is strategically located between growth centres such as India, China and Thailand, and is South East Asia's largest mainland nation. The country has extensive natural resources, including oil and gas, and a growing population.

The Australian Government last year lifted travel and financial sanctions against it in response to political reforms in the country.

The Austrade office in Yangon will help Australian companies establish a presence in Myanmar's promising but challenging market, forecast to grow at around 6 percent in 2013.

"This is another step in the Government's commitment to expand Australia's diplomatic and commercial footprint in Asia," Emerson said. "This new office will support Australia's businesses in education and training, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure, mining and tourism."