During its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014, Myanmar will spend more than $34 million in holding international meetings and summits, a top government official said.
The government has allocated $34.1 million (K33.4 billion) to host about 300 international meetings that are scheduled for this year such as the ASEAN Summit, ministerial and deputy ministerial level meetings and working group sessions, said U Aung Htoo, deputy director general of the ASEAN Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meetings will be held in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.
The budget will cover the costs incurred from arranging meetings including travel and accommodation expenses.
The first meeting will be the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which will take place from 15 to 18 January in Bagan.
U Aung Htoo said the foreign ministers’ meeting will discuss the results of the 23rd ASEAN Summit hosted by Brunei last year. During the chairmanship, Myanmar is likely to address the ongoing territorial dispute over Spratly Islands in South China Sea between China and ASEAN members – Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Vietnam.
Myanmar became an ASEAN member in 1997 and this is the first time Myanmar takes up the ASEAN Chairmanship which rotates annually.