Reuniting with old friends from afar

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was recently on an official state visit to the Czech Republic and a working visit to Hungary at the invitation of Czech Prime Minister Mr. Andrej Babiš.
Both countries are located in Central Europe and are members of the European Union. While both countries have a landmass and population smaller than Myanmar, their economy and scale of development are miles ahead of ours. Therefore, it is very much worth our time to observe and learn from these two nations.
Compared to the Czech Republic, Myanmar is about eight and a half times larger and has about 44 million more citizens compared to the 10 million or so people of the landlocked nation. However, Czechia (as it is also known) has a GDP three times that of our nation.
During her visit to Czechia, the State Counsellor talked about promoting the friendly relations between our two countries, one that has existed in historical tradition, and increasing bilateral cooperation in trade, investment and other economic sectors.
She also discussed promoting more interaction between the citizens of both countries, more cooperation in education, healthcare and cultural affairs, and exchanging visits between high-ranking figures of both nations.
Furthermore, the State Counsellor delivered a lecture on Myanmar’s transition period titled ‘Challenges faced in transitioning to a democratic system’ to the rector, faculties and students of Charles University, the first university established in Central Europe.
During the meeting with leaders of the Czech Republic and Hungary, and with the university communities of both countries, our State Counsellor delivered lectures that explain Myanmar’s democratic transition, her internal peace process, and matters related to implementing stability, peace and development in Rakhine State.
She described our country’s actual situation and the journey we are going through in a clear, open and comprehensive manner. We hope this will dispel the rumours and misunderstandings on Myanmar that are floating among Western countries.
In addition, we have successfully organized the Myanmar-Czech and Myanmar-Hungary economic forums. These have allowed traders, entrepreneurs and industrialists from all three countries to have direct conservations, expand their range of opportunities, and promote cooperation in trade, investment and economic partnership.
In conclusion, the State Counsellor’s recent visits to the European countries has rekindled the existing connection with our long-time friends. We see this as the opening of the yellow brick road that will generate bountiful merits in foreign relations, development, education, and to our economy, society and culture.

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