Australia will restore military cooperation with Myanmar and increase business ties with the Southeast Asian nation in recognition of Myanmar ’s move towards democracy.

The statement was made by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a joint press conference with President Thein Sein, the first Myanmar leader to visit Australia since 1974.

Gillard said that Australia will provide aid worth 20 million AUD (20.7 million USD) over two years to help Myanmar strengthen its institutions and economic management, as well as promote human rights and laws.

She revealed that her country will soon post a trade commissioner to the Australian Embassy in Myanmar ’s commercial centre of Yangon in order to increase trade and investment links with the Southeast Asian country.

Australia will loosen regulations on national defence cooperation with Myanmar , including humanitarian and disaster support activities. However, its arms embargo will remain.

For his part, Myanmar President Thein Sein affirmed that his country will continue following the road to democracy despite its existing problems in human rights issues.

Australian aid to Myanmar is expected to double to 100 million AUD (103 million USD) in 2015.-VNA