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Business leaders to follow Suu Kyi to Japan

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Rangoon International Airport to depart for a five-day trip to Japan on 1 November 2016. (Photo: MOI)

A group of 30 Burmese business leaders will travel to Japan on Thursday, following close behind State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who left today for a five-day visit to the country at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The business delegation will represent a wide variety of industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to healthcare and banking, according to information released by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), which organised the trip.

Among those who will be visiting Japan are Zaw Min Win, the UMFCCI’s newly elected chairman, and Thein Han, the managing director of the Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Ltd, which controls investment in the Japanese-backed Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Rangoon.

The visit by the business leaders comes close on the heels of Suu Kyi’s trip, which is also expected to focus on promoting investment opportunities in Burma.

According to the Ministry of Information, Suu Kyi departed from Rangoon International Airport at 7:40am on Tuesday on a Thai Airways International flight. Her trip will be from 1 to 5 November.

Accompanying her were Planning and Finance Minister Kyaw Win, Deputy Minister of the Office of State Counsellor Khin Maung Tin, and officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Office of the President, the Office of the State Counselor and the Planning and Finance Ministry.

During the trip, Suu Kyi is expected to meet with Abe and other top-level government officials.

Suu Kyi received the invitation to visit Japan during a meeting with Abe on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Laos in September.

She previously visited Japan as opposition leader in April 2013, returning to the country for the first time since she resided there in the 1980s, before becoming the leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement.

A month later, Abe returned the visit, flying to Burma with promises of almost $1 billion in development aid.

Ahead of Suu Kyi’s visit, the Japanese Prime Minister pledged to give full support to Burma’s economic development and national reconciliation process.

 

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story suggested that the UMFCCI-led business delegation would be accompanying State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on her five-day visit to Japan. However, the two visits were organised independently and were scheduled to start two days apart.