Myanmar, U.S. reach fresh bilateral agreement for economic cooperation

Beijing, June 27 (Xinhua-ANI): Myanmar and the United States reached Thursday a new bilateral agreement for economic cooperation, said a press release of the U.S. Embassy here.

The agreement, signed by Myanmar Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economic Development U Set Aung and U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell, formalizes the November 2012 pledge of U.S. President Obama to provide 170 million U.S. dollars' assistance to Myanmar over the next two years, the release said.

The agreement is a commitment by both countries to continue to support Myanmar's democratic reform which was said to be in steady progress, according to Mitchell.

The bilateral agreement details the guidance for cooperative support between the two governments, in particular, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the leading U.S. government development agency providing assistance in democracy, human rights and the rule of law, peace and reconciliation, food and security and health, it said.

The first Myanmar-U.S. Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1950, under which USAID and the Myanmar government worked together to provide a range of assistance including training, technical services, grants and agricultural commodities until 1962 when USAID was closed.

However, USAID continues to provide limited assistance until 1989.

Starting in 1998, USAID resumed targeted health program and in 2008 it supported the humanitarian response following cyclone Nargis.

In April 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the establishment of USAID mission in Myanmar. (Xinhua-ANI)


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