Both the sides re-asserted their commitment for promoting two-way investments and infrastructure development especially for border trade, among other trade issues pertaining to agriculture, energy, skill and entrepreneurial development, pharmaceutical, among other key sectors.
By Sai Nikesh D
India and Myanmar on Tuesday discussed and agreed to resolve the issues such as lack of good connectivity and lack of banking arrangement both for regular and border trade, which are hampering bilateral trade and investment between the two economies.
In this regard, India offered to provide infrastructure support to Myanmar at the border trade points, besides supporting subsidized direct shipping links between the two countries to further promote bilateral trade.
Both the countries met in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday for the fifth India- Myanmar Joint Trade Committee meeting that was co-chaired by the Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Myanmar Union Minister of Commerce U Win Myint.
In the meeting, both the sides re-asserted their commitment for promoting two-way investments and infrastructure development especially for border trade, among other trade issues pertaining to agriculture, energy, skill and entrepreneurial development, pharmaceutical, among other key sectors.
India also offered to upgrade trade training institutes in Yangon and provide training to Myanmar officials on WTO rules and international trade related issues.
The two sides also agreed to launch a land customs station in Zawkhatar, Mizoram shortly.
Following this meeting, in the next India-Myanmar Joint Investment meet that is going to be held in Chennai, Myanmar would be organizing a road show highlighting its invest opportunities , especially in Specially Economic Zones(SEZ).
Prior to this, in January 2015, the Indian government reiterated its commitment to provide a $5 million support annually for 5 years to Myanmar under Border Area Development.
In this regard, the President of India said on January 22, 2015 that the Government of India had already released $4.5 million and is also working on developmental projects like Kaladan Project and connectivity projects.
The President also expressed that the Indian companies are keen to bring their expertise and resources to Myanmar in promising sectors such as energy, power, construction, banking, insurance, among others.
India and Myanmar have seen a growing trade in the recent years. According to statistics of the Indian Embassy, while the bilateral trade during FY2012-13 stood at $1,957.35 million, the figure rose to $ 2182.68 million in FY2013-14, registering a 10% growth year-on-year.
Coming to the current financial year, the bilateral trade during the first eight months from April-November of FY2014-15 stands at $1135.59 million, which accounts to more than half of the entire trade during previous financial year and we may expect the figure to reach above the previous year’s by the end of FY2014-15, in view of the ongoing trade enhancements between the two countries.
This article was published in The Dollar Business on February 18, 2015.