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A Typical Reporting on Burma by Chi
Author: by China Daily
Myanmar's membership to organization accepted
BANGKOK (Agencies via Xinhua) -- Asia's latest regional grouping,
an economic alliance of nations from the south and southeast of the
continent, is admitting Myanmar as its newest member.
Myanmar was enrolled into the group, known as BIST-EC, in a move
members hope will provide a missing link -- and a valuable land bridge
-- to expand trade, investment and joint development between Southeast
and South Asia.
"Myanmar has become the fifth member of the grouping, and its
admission officially changes its name," a Thai Foreign Ministry official
Admission of military-run Myanmar comes amid a diplomatic spat
between Asian and European countries over Rangoon's admission to another
group: the Asia-Europe Meeting group (ASEM).
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) wants to see
Yangon embraced by ASEM, and to have it attend next year's ASEM summit
But European nations have opposed the move.
Myanmar's admission to the business group, formed in June, changes
the name of BIST-EC to BIMST-EC -- or theBangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri
Lanka and Thailand Economic Co-operation forum.
Talks between member-nations will concentrate on economic, not
political, issues, Thai officials said.
"Ministerial meetings today (Monday) will focus on economic
co-operation between the countries," officials said.
Member countries' deputy foreign ministers were in Bangkok for
yesterday's one-day meeting, with the exception of India, which was
represented by the Foreign Ministry's permanent secretary.
Myanmar was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Nyunt Swe, a
Thai official told reporters.
Myanmar military junta seized power in the 1980s and disregarded
polls in 1989, a landslide win by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy (NLD).
It has clung onto power ever since.
Senior officials from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand met
from Friday to Sunday, with Myanmar attending as an observer. Talks
touched on the impact of Southeast Asia's currency turmoil, among other
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