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Canada sends international trade minister to Myanmar

Canadian international trade minister Ed Fast will travel with business leaders to Yangon in September, marking another step towards Western investment in Myanmar

Myanmar open for investment but businesses waitEnlarge
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Myanmar President Thein Sein before a meeting in Siem Reap on July 13. Clinton met with Myanmar President Thein Sein for landmark talks days after Washington eased its sanctions on the once-pariah state. (Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty Images)

Canada is sending international trade minister Ed Fast to Myanmar, reported the Vancouver Sun Wednesday - marking another step towards more Western investment in the swiftly-changing Southeast Asian nation. 

 Fast will travel to Myanmar with a delegation of business leaders in September. 

GlobalPost: Coca-Cola to do business in Myanmar 

"The reason we're engaging is because the trade and investment ground in Burma is shifting," Fast told the Vancouver Sun.

"Slowly but surely, the circumstances, the investment climate and the business environment is changing and we would like to see that change continue."

Canada has announced plans to open an embassy in Myanmar, reported the Globe and Mail earlier this month. 

The West is eager to broker deals with Myanmar, a previously un-tapped market in a strategically located portion of Southeast Asia. 

GlobalPost: Buddhist monks in Myanmar come out against Muslim minority

Earlier this month, GE became the first US company to sign business deals with Myanmar, reported the Washington Post, and will provide medical equipment to two hospitals. GE intends to establish a Yangon office, with a focus on the healthcare and energy sectors, the Post added. 

In June, Coca-Cola announced it would begin selling its beverages in Myanmar soon, GlobalPost reported

However, Myanmar's not-exactly-stellar human rights record has introduced an element of moral ambiguity to recent economic missions - although the military regime appears to be easing up on its formerly militant control over citizen.

The summer has been marked by vicious sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims, the GlobalPost reported earlier this week. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/myanmar/120726/canada-sends-trade-minister-myanmar