Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung begins his three-day official visit to Myanmar and will also attend the fourth Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS-4), at the invitation of President Thein Sein.

This is the first official visit to Myanmar by PM Nguyen Tan Dung since he was re-elected as Prime Minister earlier this year and the third trip to the country since 2007.

During this visit, the two sides are expected to discuss a number of measures to step up the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation, accelerate the implementation of agreements signed by high-ranking leaders of the two nations and remove difficulties faced by both Vietnamese and Myanmar businesses.

Vietnam and Myanmar set up relations early. The Government and people of Myanmar supported the Vietnamese people during the resistance wars against the French colonists and the US imperialists in the past as well as the process of national construction and defence at present.

The two countries lifted bilateral ties from the level of consul general to the level of ambassador on May 28, 1975, right after Vietnam gained the complete victory, liberating the South and reunifying the country.

In recent years, Vietnam and Myanmar have actively strengthened and promoted the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation. The two countries exchanged many high-level visits. In particular, PM Dung’s visit to Myanmar in April, 2010 elevated bilateral relations to a new height.

Economic and trade ties saw great progress in 2010, with two-way trade reaching 152 million USD, up 54 percent over the previous year. By the end of 2010, Vietnam had invested 500 million USD in Myanmar.

In 2011, bilateral trade is estimated to hit 180 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 18.4 percent, including 90 million USD worth of goods imported from Myanmar.

Vietnam and Myanmar set up the joint committee for economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation in 1994 and the mechanism for annual political consultation between the two foreign ministries in 2005.

At the latest meeting in November 2010, the two sides discussed a number of measures to promote cooperation in agriculture, forestry, fishery, aquaculture, transport, energy, information, health care, culture, education, sports, tourism, science and technology.

Along with bilateral cooperation, Vietnam and Myanmar have closely cooperated within the framework of ASEAN as well as other regional and international organisations such as the GMS, the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) , and the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) cooperation. The two countries have also coordinated and supported each other at international and regional forums./.