Australia will open an Austrade office in Myanmar this year as part of the Gillard Government's drive to help businesses break into and expand in Asia's emerging and growth markets.
Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson said today the office would be opened in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial centre.
When fully operational, it will be staffed by a Trade Commissioner supported by a number of locally-engaged business development managers.
"Recognising and responding quickly to new opportunities in Asia's growth and emerging markets is central to putting the Asian Century White Paper into practice," Dr Emerson said.
The Australian Government last year lifted travel and financial sanctions against Myanmar in response to political reforms in the country.
Austrade's presence in the country will consolidate this new commercial relationship while giving assistance to Australian companies looking to invest in the country.
Myanmar is strategically located between growth centres such as India, China and Thailand, and is South East Asia's largest mainland nation. The country has extensive natural resources, including oil and gas, and a growing population.
"This is another step in the Government's commitment to expand Australia's diplomatic and commercial footprint in Asia," Dr Emerson said.
The Government also announced in the White Paper the appointment of a dedicated Ambassador to ASEAN, to be based in Jakarta. Last year it announced an Austrade-managed consulate in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and plans to open a new consulate in Chengdu, China.
Also last year, the Government announced that a new embassy would be established in Mongolia, while Austrade also opened a new consulate in Bogota, Colombia and created new trade commissioner positions in Accra, Ghana and São Paulo, Brazil.
The Austrade office in Yangon will help Australian companies establish a presence in Myanmar's promising but challenging market, forecast to grow at around 6 per cent in 2013.
"This new office will support Australia's businesses in education and training, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure, mining and tourism," Dr Emerson said.
Under reforms introduced by Dr Emerson, Austrade has concentrated more of its resources in growth and emerging markets, where its support can make the most difference to the success of Australian businesses in the Asian Century.
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