Minister Koenders opens Dutch embassy in Myanmar
On Wednesday (12 October) Minister Koenders (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands) opened the Dutch embassy in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). An unique moment because everywhere else in the world the Dutch embassies are closing down or at least decreasing the number of staff. But in Myanmar a new Dutch embassy is being established.
Furthermore, this was the first Dutch political mission to the new Myanmar government. The last political elections in November 2015 were the first elections in 60 years in which the leading party (NLD: National League of Democracy) was democratically chosen by a majority of votes. After 60 years of military rule, and hardly any focus on the development of the country and the people, the current government has a very challenging task but certainly shows the mentality to succeed.
Only two months ago the first Dutch ambassador arrived in Yangon. This changed the economic mission of the Netherlands in Myanmar into a more ambitious mission which results in having a Dutch embassy present in Myanmar. Surely this indicates the potential of Myanmar in general, and specifically in trade and the water and agro-food sector.
During his 3-day visit to Myanmar Minister Koenders had meetings with the private sector in order to stimulate and strengthen the economic relationships between the Netherlands and Myanmar. This is also something he stressed several times during his speech at the opening of the embassy.
For SAPA, these are encouraging and beneficial developments: the establishment of the Dutch embassy in Myanmar; the continuous strengthening of the economic relationships between the Netherlands and Myanmar; and finally the focus on developing and improving the agriculture of the new government.