The US Associated Press (AP) has become the first international news agency to open a bureau in Myanmar since a reformist government took power two years ago.

According to AP, six journalists will staff the new bureau full time following the Myanmar Information Ministry’s granting of office opening permission to the agency.

Japanese broadcaster NHK was also granted permission to operate in the country.

Under the previous military regime, Xinhua News Agency and Guangming Daily of China were the only foreign news outlets allowed to have their nationals as resident correspondents.

In another development, the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada has officially assigned Mark McDowell as the country’s first-ever ambassador to Myanmar.

Previously, diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries had been handled through the Canadian Embassy in Thailand , but a new Canadian embassy will open in Yangon this year.

Mark McDowell currently works at the Canadian Embassy in China . Earlier, he served in New York, Bangkok and Taiwan.

In 2012, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird travelled to Myanmar to signal the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries./.