China and Myanmar will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on building the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), one of the highlight projects of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, according to reports by media in Myanmar.
U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration of Myanmar, was recently in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province, to attend the Second Working Group Meeting on the CMEC. Local media quoted him as saying an agreement had already been reached, and an official document will be signed in 2018.
"The China-Myanmar Economic Corridor is obviously a win-win agreement for both countries. Myanmar's economy is growing but it needs a new impulse to make it develop further, which B&R projects can provide," said Xu Liping, an expert on Southeast Asian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The CMEC was proposed by China in November 2017 during a visit to Beijing by Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The project will connect Yunnan with Mandalay in central Myanmar and also build up infrastructure to connect Myanmar's economic centers.
China is Myanmar's largest trading partner, with $13.5 billion in bilateral trade in 2017, a yearly increase of 10 percent, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs and Myanmar's Ministry of Commerce.