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  • » 05/28/2012, 00.00


    India looks to Myanmar to counter Chinese hegemony

    PM Singh's three-day visit to ex Burma got underway yesterday. Trade, infrastructure, technology and development are at the centre of talks between Singh and President Thein Sein. Indian bank will soon open branch in Yangon. New Delhi will also extend a US$ 500 million line of credit.

    Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - On the first full day of his three-day visit to Myanmar, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Burmese President Thein Sein. The two leaders emphasised the importance of trade agreements, cultural exchanges and better communications (by land and air) between the two countries. This is first visit by an Indian prime minister to the ex Burma in 25 years.

    The two men discussed Indian development projects in Myanmar, which come as grants and concession loans worth US$ 1.2 billion. They signed a memorandum of understanding on an additional US$ 500 million line of credit extended by India for more projects to benefit the people of Burma, especially in agriculture, irrigation, rail transportation and electric power.

    Thein Sein and Manmohan Singh also announced that India would repair and upgrade 71 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa friendship Road, which connects India, Myanmar and Thailand.

    The two sides agreed to improved land and air connectivity. A trans-border bus service will connect Imphal, India, to Mandalay, Myanmar.  Similarly, a new Air Service agreement was signed, expanding direct air links.

    In the border area, India agreed to upgrade roads and agricultural initiatives as well as build schools, health centres and bridges.

    A joint working group has identified some priority areas for future cooperation in the fields of agricultural biotechnology, post-harvest technology, medical biotechnology, medical research and renewable energy.

    A Myanmar Institute of Information Technology with financial and technical assistance from India will be established.

    The two sides confirmed the mutually agreed target of doubling bilateral trade by 2015.

    With an emphasis on the considerable untapped potential for greater trade, the two leaders urged the business community to capitalise on this potential.

    Investments by Indian companies in areas like ports, highways, oil and gas, plantations, manufacturing, and hospitality will be specifically encouraged.

    The two men also promised to work to identify and remove various impediments to bilateral trade. In this context, they welcomed the establishment of a representative office of the United Bank of India in Rangoon as a first step in facilitating business-friendly banking transactions between the two countries.

    All this activism by India reflects the 'Look East policy' New Delhi has adopted to counter the hegemony of China, the world's second largest economic power.

    In fact, Beijing remains Myanmar's main trading partner, but recent overtures by the Burmese government have favoured the arrival of new competitors in what is a potentially promising market, especially since the partial lifting of US and EU sanctions.

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    See also

    11/01/2010 INDIA – MYANMAR
    Yangon: death sentences to eliminate the regime's opponents
    The notion of "state" has replaced that of "the People" as ordinary Burmese continue to be enslaved by the dictatorship. The ruling junta spends less than 3 per cent in health care, with the military taking the lion share (40 per cent) of the rest. Generals prepare the ground for this year's phony elections with the assistance of China, Russia, North Korea and India.

    20/07/2010 MYANMAR – INDIA
    Senior General Than Shwe in India to discuss trade and security
    The visit is scheduled for 25-29 July. Under the guise of religion, the trip will favour closer economic ties and tighter controls on rebel groups along the Indo-Burmese border. Tata Motors might be interested in moving production of its Nano minicar to Myanmar.

    02/06/2016 09:39:00 INDIA
    Goa, a kilo of sugar for a kilo of litter: a recipe for sustainable development

    The proposal of John Douglas Coutinho, a local environmentalist. He founded an NGO to collect waste and keeping the district clean. The local administration has recognized and rewarded the value of his initiatives, all self-financed.

    17/07/2009 MYANMAR - CHINA
    Myanmar: despite sanctions, a growth in investment. China has 87% of the market
    In the past fiscal year foreign investment in the former Burma hit almost one billion U.S. dollars. Six times greater than the year 2007 to 2008. The increase due to massive investment by Beijing, which continues to deal with the dictatorship in spite of sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union.

    10/05/2012 MYANMAR
    For Burmese dissident, IMF might dream economic boom, but our dignity is worth more
    For the International Monetary Fund, Myanmar could become Asia's "next frontier". Experts call for "appropriate reforms" to go along with the "labour force" and "natural resources." NLD representative in India says wealth "is not the sole aspiration"; what counts is "prosperity for the entire population".

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