Message from the Consul General of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Mr. Wai Lwin Than
緬甸駐香港總領事 Wai Lwin Than 獻辭
As today is the 64th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, on behalf of the Government and the people of Myanmar, I am honored to convey my warmest greetings and best wishes for happiness, prosperity and success to the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR as well as Myanmar Overseas Chinese citizens in Hong Kong and Macau, on this auspicious occasion.
Myanmar gained its Independence and Sovereignty on the 4th of January, 1948, after having been colonized for over a hundred years. To date back to the 19th Century, Myanmar lost its sovereignty, following the colonialists’ aggression. However, the national brethren of the Union who hated being under the colonialism equipped themselves firmly with patriotic spirit and exerted bravery, tenacity, and vigor, launched anti-colonialist struggles, sacrificing lives, blood and sweat.
Geographically, Myanmar is situated in South East Asia, sharing borders with The People's Republic of China, Laos, Thailand, India and Bangladesh. Myanmar is a country with a multi-ethnic and a multi-religious society, and it is also the homeland of eight major ethnic groups, comprising over 130 ethnic nationalities. The major national groups are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine and Shan. The Bamar nationals are the largest population of the Country with over 59 millions, and 89 percent of the people are Buddhists while Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and animism are professed by others.
In 1988, the socialist system was replaced with the system of a market-oriented economy. The then Government has also initiated reforms and made all efforts to maintain peace and stability while promoting economic and social development. As national unity is vital for progress in Myanmar, the Government has succeeded in unprecedented national consolidation.
In Myanmar on the 7th of November 2010, the multi-party general elections were successfully held while being free and fair. Consequently the new constitutional Government was formed on the 31st of March 2011 headed by the President U Thein Sein. The new Government, within the period of nine months, adopted more open policies which were welcomed and encouraged by the friendly countries from far and near.
Economically, the Government has been making effort for all-round development of various sectors. The bilateral trade between Myanmar and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) hit 1,903.126 million US$ in the fiscal year of 2010-2011. Of the total, Myanmar's export to Hong Kong amounted to 1,894.686 million dollars, while its import from HKSAR is worth 8.44 million dollars, enjoying a trade surplus of over 1.8 billion dollars. Hong Kong currently stands as the third in Myanmar's exporting country or regional line-up after China and Thailand.
The HKSAR's investment in Myanmar was registered at 5,904.918 million dollars in 35 projects as of 2011, standing as the 3rd largest foreign investor in the country after China and Thailand. According to Myanmar official statistics, China-Myanmar bilateral trade amounted to 2,900.8 million dollars as of 2011. Of the total, Myanmar's export to China amounted to 1,781.27 million dollars. As of July 2010, China's contracted investment in Myanmar has reached 6,415.058 million dollars. China has risen from the 6th position to the 1st in Myanmar's foreign investment line-up in recent years.
Myanmar's relationship with China has always been close, as they are good neighbors and always cordial, and both peoples are enjoying a traditional "Swe Myo Paukphaw" friendship, which, in Myanmar terms, is analogous to brotherhood. Myanmar and China established formal diplomatic relations on the 8th of June 1950. Furthermore, the Myanmar Consulate was opened in Hong Kong in July 1952, headed by an Honorary Consul and later upgraded to the Consulate-General in December 1969, headed by Consul-General. Ever since, the Consulate-General has played a major role in promoting trade, investment and mutual understanding for better relations.
In conclusion, I would like to invite nationals from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to have a fresh look at where Myanmar stands today, and join us in the exciting voyage of enterprise and adventure. With the active support of the people and the governments of the countries between the Union of Myanmar and the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, relations have been going forward in all fields. On this auspicious occasion, I look forward to the further deepening, strengthening of brotherly friendship between the Union of Myanmar and the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau-SAR.