Cooperation

Commercial cooperation is another area of focus. India and Myanmar signed a trade agreement in 1970. Bilateral trade has been growing steadily to reach USD 2052.47 million in 2015-16 and India is the fifth largest trade partner of Myanmar but trade remains below potential. Agriculture sector dominates bilateral trade, particularly supply of beans and pulses to India (813.85 million in 2014-15) and Timber and wood products (US$ 382.12 million). India’s exports to Myanmar include pharmaceuticals products, steel & iron products, electrical machinery, Mineral oil, Rubber and articles, plastics etc. US$ 169.17 million worth of pharmaceutical products were exported to Myanmar in 2014-15. Border trade via Moreh and Zawkhatar has reached to US$ 51.68 million in 2013-14.

 

India is presently the ninth largest investor with an approved investment of US$ 730.649 million by 22 Indian companies, out of the total estimated investments of US$ 58.03 billion from 41 countries by 1001 enterprises (as of 29 Feb 2016). Most of India’s investments have been in the oil and gas sector. Following the New Foreign Investment Law (02 Nov 2012) and the by-laws and rules framed by the respective departments/ministries (31 January 2013) investments into the country is increasing. Now FDI is allowed 100 % in select sectors. Indian companies have evinced interest in investing in Myanmar and major contracts have been won by Indian companies include Jubilant Energy India- PSC-1 onshore bloc; Punj Lloyd; Jindal Saw; Welspun India; Vihaan Networks; Nipha Exports and Troika Exports; L&T. More facilitative environment that includes greater air, sea and road connectivity options would give a fillip to the cooperation. Cooperation in banking sector is crucial for investment and trade. United Bank of India signed number of banking agreements with banks of Myanmar (MFTB, MICB, MEB, and 9 private banks) in order to facilitate trade transactions between the two countries. United Bank of India (UBI) opened its representative office in November 2012. In addition to UBI, Indian Overseas Bank, EXIM bank and State Bank of India have opened representative office in Yangon.

 

Mechanisms such as Joint Trade Committee, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement and technical level committee on trade have contributed to strengthening trade and investment relations. The first Joint Trade and Investment Forum (JTIF) was held in Yangon on 7 June 2013 co-chaired by Shri Sunil Mittal and U Aung Win (President UMFCCI, Myanmar).

 

Defence Cooperation: The past few years have witnessed a growing defence bilateral ties. Myanmar welcomes India's cooperation as it enables it counter-balance its dependency on a few countries. The cooperation has been boosted by regular exchange of visits at the Service Chief level The Indian Chiefs Army and Navy visited Myanmar in January 2012 and August 2011 respectively. In November 2012, Chairman COSC and CAS Air Chief Marshal Browne led tri-services delegation visited Myanmar from 26 to 30 November 2012 and Gen. Bikram Singh, COAS visited Myanmar from Oct 29 – Nov 02, 2013. During the visit, the delegation held formal discussion with C-in-C Senior General Min Aug Hlaing and Service Chiefs of Armed Forces. The delegation also made courtesy call on with President U Thein Sein and Myanmar Army was presented a set of five Handgliders and INFCOTT and CDR wargame software, jointly developed by the Indian Army and DRDO.

 

As Myanmar seeks to enhance its defence ties with India, nearly 200 officials from Myanmar Defence Services were trained in India during 2015, 2 PG slots in AFMC, training in fixed and rotary wing aircraft and in VIP security duties at NSG centre. India is now supplying defensive military hardware for the use of the Myanmar Navy. This marks restoration of supply of hardware which was halted following demonstrations in September 2007. There has also been close interaction between the two Navies including participation of Myanmar Navy Ship during International Fleet Review held at Visakhapatnam in February 2016 and presence of Myanmar Navy Chief during the event.

 

From Myanmar side, C-in-C and Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing led a 21 member delegation to India from 01-08 August 2012. Myanmar CNS Vice Admiral Thura Thet Swe visited India from 29 July- 1 August 2013. Vice Senior Gen. U Soe Win paid an official visit to India from 11-15 December 2013 and called on Raksha Mantri and had discussions with COAS Gen. Bikram Singh and reviewed passing out parade at OTA Gaya. The Second Naval Staff Talks were held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from November 6-8, 2013. CNS Admiral Thura Thet Swe, Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar visited India from July 29 to August 1, 2013. Lt Gen Khin Aung Myint, Chief of Staff (Air) attended the 9th edition of Aero India show at Bangalore. INS Darshak undertook a joint hydrological survey along with Myanmar Navy off the coast of Sittwe including the Kaladan Multimodal Transport-Transit Port in Sittwe.

 

Commencement of Army and Air Force Staff Talks in 2015 in addition to the ongoing Naval talks have further enhanced our relations. Cooperation along the border areas has also improved post the signing of MoU on Border Cooperation in May 2014. This was evident by successful handling of the fallouts from the alleged cross border raid by Indian Army after an ambush by IIG’s based in Myanmar on a Indian Army column in Jun 2015. In accordance with this MoU, border meetings are regularly held in a four-tiered structure and communication lines have been established between three locations across the border. However, Myanmar Army has not shown any worthwhile cooperation in controlling the IIGs based in Myanmar territory and their links with other foreign countries.

Security Cooperation in respect of Indian Insurgent groups (IIGs)

So far, there has been little progress on the issue of combating insurgency along the India-Myanmar border on Myanmar side. There have been some coordinated patrols by the two armies along the border but has not been able to achieve its objective of vacating IIG camps believed to be located along the porous border. India has been sharing maps and photographs on IIGs camps on Myanmar soil, particularly in Sagaing Division (adjoining Manipur/ Nagaland) and has since been informed that after due enquiries, Myanmar has not found any camps at these locations. We have also been providing them detailed information over the past year on the precise whereabouts of Paresh Barua, military chief of the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom and one of our most sought-after fugitives, and sought his extradition; there has been no specific response, except asking for more details.

 

The Myanmar leadership has, on numerous occasions, conveyed that Myanmar empathises with India as it faces a similar problem on its border with Thailand and will not accept elements working in its border areas against India. Then President Thein Sein, in interaction with EAM, PM and others, has reiterated this message on various occasions, however with a rider saying that these areas are densely forested, hard to access and communications are very difficult. Myanmar will continue to try to improve access to make it possible for military to patrol and monitor and check their activities. He also conveyed that Myanmar plans to open police stations and administrative offices in these areas in order to control the situation and ensure rule of law. During the discussion between PM and President Thein Sein in May 2012, they reiterated that territories of either country would not be allowed to be used for activities inimical to other. MOU on Border Cooperation was signed in May 2014 providing for coordinated patrolling by the security forces of both countries.

 

There are some indications, however, that steady pressure exerted by us on Myanmar to act on insurgency is having some impact. As per intelligence reports, during negotiations with NSCN (Khaplang), Myanmar Government asked the latter to ensure that the Meitei insurgents are sent back from their camps. During dialogue, Myanmar leaders have acknowledged that there is some control by the security forces in some areas on movement of insurgents, and promised to improve administration and connectivity to address this problem. They have sought our help by providing road building equipment, Bailey bridges and development assistance in the Naga Self Administered Zone for infrastructure development and micro-finance projects for 5 years, which is being covered under Border Development projects.

 

The other forum for security dialogue is the Regional Border Committee (RBC) led by GOC 3 Corps and on Myanmar side by North Western Commander, which met for the first time in Leimakhong, India on May 7-9, 2012. The last RBC meeting was held in Kalay in January 2015. During the RBC meeting the two sides have agreed to launch coordinated patrols along land and maritime border. Notwithstanding no substantial achievement on the ground, it is still a forward movement as some sort of coordinated patrol on land and maritime has commenced on security cooperation.  

 

Cooperation in the Hydrocarbon sector: Myanmar is an important partner in strengthening our energy security. Recognising this, an MOU on Co-operation in the Petroleum Sector between MOP&NG and Ministry of Energy of Myanmar was signed during President’s visit to Myanmar in March 2006. ONGC Videsh Ltd. (ONGC-VL) and GAIL in 2006, acquired 20% and 10% participating interest in the A1/A3 blocks (Shwe Development and Production Area). In 2010, ONGC withdrew from AD-2, AD-3 & AD-9 deepwater blocks to which it had been given PSC rights due to poor prospects. ESSAR had acquired stakes in offshore block A-2 and onshore block 'L' and invested USD 100 million in exploration of these blocks. However, their exploration contract been terminated for both blocks from 1 and 5 August 2012 due to failure to fulfil conditions of PSC. In 2011, M/s Jubilant Energy got exploration and prospecting rights on PSC-1 onshore block (3600 km2) along with consortium of Parami Energy Development Co. They were keen on securing similar rights in the 2013 round of bidding for one or two more adjacent onshore blocks but could not. During the 2nd round of bidding in 2013 for exploration and production of Onshore (2nd round) oil blocks, ONGC won two blocks viz., B2 and EP3 and during the 2nd round of bidding of Offshore oil & gas blocks (both shallow and deep water), Reliance won 2 blocks-M17 & M18 and OIL won 2 blocks-YEB & M4.

 

Development cooperation is a key aspect of our relationship and we have offered technical and financial assistance to Myanmar for projects in infrastructure, capacity-building, emergency relief and others, as indicated below.

Human Resource Development Initiatives: We have extended considerable support for building up Myanmar's human resource capacity under the ITEC, TCS and ICCR scholarship schemes. The ITEC programme was launched in Myanmar in 1996 with 30 slots. Since 2000 more than 2200 Scholarships have been utilized under the ITEC/TCS schemes. PM during his visit in May 2012 announced that the number of training slots for Myanmar, under the Indian Economic and Technical Cooperation (ITEC) Programme, would be doubled to 500. Besides these India also offering 25 police training courses for Myanmar police personnel annually. In the year 2014-15 Myanmar has utilized 476 slots out of the 525 allotted.

 

Other important initiatives taken by India includes setting up of Myanmar Institute of Information Technology in Mandalay with financial and technical assistance from India. IIIT, Bangalore has been appointed as the mentor institute to set up MIIT and run for 5 years. MIIT would be a state of the art institute which will help turn out IT professionals with deemed university status. The Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE) and Rice Bio Park are being established with Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa and Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation as the mentor institute to set up the ACARE and Rice Bio Park respectively. The vision for these institutes is that they will emerge as centres of excellence which will be able to address the needs of Myanmar’s agricultural sector and IT industry respectively.

 

Other initiatives for cooperation in skill development include Myanmar-India Centre for English Language (MICELT) and Myanmar-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre (MIEDC) which have been set up and running successfully. Training for the students is underway at both the Centres. India has also set up the India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT Skills in Yangon as a bilateral grant project in 2008. Above 2000 students have received training at the Centre. A similar centre of excellence in IT is also to be opened in Myitkyina during the year. We have set up two Industrial Training Centres in Pakokku and Myingyan to develop skilled labour for Myanmar industry. The Centres have been training many Myanmar students who have been able to find placement in the local industries. India has been also offering periodic capacity building programmes to Myanmar on need basis. These have included WTO training workshops, journalists training programmes, special courses on rubber plantation and manufacture and dairy sector.

 

Disaster Relief: India responded promptly and effectively to assist Myanmar in humanitarian relief operations following natural calamities like Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the earthquake in Shan State in 2010 and cyclone Komen in 2015. We provided immediate relief material, medical assistance, supplies for rehabilitation work, biomass gasifiers, solar torches & lanterns. We have also replaced 16 damaged transformers and given a grant of USD 200,000 to repair the Shwedagon Pagoda complex in Yangon. We also gave assistance of USD 1 million for relief and reconstruction work in the quake affected zone in Shan State of which 250,000 was given as a cash grant and the remainder used to finance reconstruction of 1 high school and 6 primary schools. We have also donated US$200,000 in cash for Rakhine State rehabilitation. India again provided a sum of US$ 1 million to Government of Myanmar for promoting inter-communal harmony in Rakhine State which the Myanmar Government has chosen to use to construct 10 schools to serve both communities and promoting communal harmony. The construction of 10 schools has hence been completed and classes commenced from the new building. Our emergency supply of food, medicines and relief supplies through four airforce flights to Kalay and Mandalay, soon after the Cyclone Komen has been widely appreciated.

 

Connectivity: Connectivity is increasingly being seen as the key to promoting bilateral commercial, cultural, touristic and other exchanges. India is undertaking some important development projects that will enhance connectivity: these include the Kaladan project, construction/upgradation of Rhi-Tiddim Road, MOU for which was signed during the visit of EAM to Myanmar in December 2012. We have agreed to Myanmar’s request to build 69 bridges along the Tamu-Kalamyo-Kalewa (TKK) Friendship Road and construct the 126 km Kalewa-Yargyi road segment forming part of the Trilateral Highway from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. We are also working on boosting air, rail and sea links. During the visit of Prime Minister in May 2012, Air Services Agreement was signed and agreed to set up JWGs to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of cross-border rail links and direct shipping links between the two countries. The bilateral Air Services Agreement enables third, fourth and fifth freedom rights to both Indian and Myanmar carriers. An MOU to establish a direct Imphal-Mandalay bus service and the broad framework for the operation of this service has been negotiated and initialized and awaiting formal signing. The Air India has launched a direct flight between Delhi-Gaya-Yangon once in a week and Gaya-Kolkata-Yangon flights twice a week. The Shipping Corporation of India launched a direct sea link in October 2014.

 

In a bid to boost people to people contacts across the border, we have signed an MOU for Border Haats at identified locations, which will enable buying and selling of small quantities of local products by the residents of the area. During the Border Haats Committee meeting in Nay Pyi Taw in September, 2013, it was agreed that initially, a Border Haat will be established at Pangsau Pass and identified nine other locations for setting up more Haats at other mutually decided locations subsequently.

 

Culture: India and Myanmar share close cultural ties. There is a deep sense of kinship, particularly amongst the Buddhist community, given India’s association with Gautama Buddha. We are trying to make the most of this shared heritage by undertaking some key initiatives: GOI working for restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan; GOI donated a 16 foot replica of the Sarnath Buddha Statue which has been installed at the premises of Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon; MEA in coordination with ICCR and the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy and Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs organised an International Conference on Buddhist Cultural Heritage from 15-17 December 2012. Performances by cultural troupes have been organized on a regular basis. Myanmar troupes and artistes have regularly participated in South Asian and ASEAN cultural events in India.

 

Indian Diaspora: The origin of the Indian community in Myanmar is traced back to the mid-19th century with the advent of the British rule in Lower Burma in 1852. The two cities of the Myanmar namely Yangon and Mandalay had a dominating presence of Indians in civil services, education, trade and commerce during the British rule. According to 1983 official census of Myanmar the number of Person of Indian origin (PIOs) in Myanmar is 428,428. A large number of the Indian community (nearly 150,000) live in Bago (Zeyawaddy and Kuayktaga) and Tanintharyi Region and Mon State, primarily engaged in farming. The NRI families mainly live in urban/cities and are engaged in export import business or are employees of MNCs based in India, Singapore and Thailand. There are estt. 1.5-2.0 million people of Indian origin living and working in various parts of Myanmar.

Bilateral Cooperation in Regional/Sub-regional context

Myanmar's membership of ASEAN, BIMSTEC and Mekong Ganga Cooperation has introduced a regional/sub-regional dimension to our bilateral relations and imparted added significance in the context of our "Look East" policy. As the only ASEAN country sharing a land border with India, Myanmar is also a bridge between South and South East Asia, a pivotal and visible link between India and ASEAN. At the India-ASEAN Summit in November 2002, Myanmar supported our case for such Summit meetings to be held on an annual basis. Myanmar also supported India’s inclusion in the East Asia Summit mechanism. Myanmar has generally been supportive of India’s candidature to various international organisations. For our part, we have supported Myanmar's association with SAARC as an observer; Myanmar formally acquired such status in 2008. We have also spoken in Myanmar’s support during UN deliberations on Myanmar at the UNGA and UNHRC.

 

***

June 2016

 

index

Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme

In line with the Hong-Kong Ministerial Declaration of December 2005, the Government of India has implemented Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) including Myanmar.

2. The Scheme provides for:

(i) Duty Free items : On about 85% of India’s total tariff lines, applied customs duty would be removed over a period of 5 years with 20% reduction each year. Two reductions have already been effected with effect from August 2008 and August 2009.

(ii) Positive List : In addition to the 85% duty free tariff lines, preferential market access as per Margin of Preference (MOP) is available on about 9% tariff lines (458 items). The MOP ranges from 10% to 100% on different items and is available on the applied rate of duty as on date of imports.

(iii) Exclusion List : Contains only 6% of total tariff lines (326 items) on which no tariff preference is available.

3. Specifically, the Scheme provides preferential market access on tariff lines that comprise 92.5% of global exports of all LDCs. Products of immediate interest to Africa which are covered include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ores, copper ores, cashew nuts, cane-sugar, ready-made garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.

4. The Scheme provides that in order to avail benefits under the Scheme, individual LDC members would submit to the Government of India a Letter of Intent and details of officials who would be responsible for issuing Certificate of Origin. The Scheme is open to all 49 LDC (list of LDCs) members including 33 LDCs in Africa.

4. The Scheme has been notified vide Customs Notifications No. 96/2008-Customs and 100/2008-Customs (Non-Tariff) dated 13th August, 2008. Subsequent notifications issued are 99/2008, 7/2009, 24/2009, 45/2009, 59/2009, 86/2009, 63/2010, 64/2010, 67/2010 and 95/2010. All these notifications are available on Government of India (Central Board of Excise & Customs) website www.cbec.gov.in

- List of LDCs.

- Status of Letter of Intent and details of Certificate of Origin received from LDCs.

- Indicative formats for submission of Letter of Intent and details for Certificate of Origin.

High Level visits

 

 

INDIA-MYANMAR RELATIONS

 

Myanmar shares a long, sensitive and porous land border of over 1600 Km with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four north-eastern States viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram share an international boundary with Myanmar. These geo-strategic realities affect India’s north-eastern region, security of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and our broader interests in the Indian Ocean region. Both countries share a heritage of religious, linguistic and ethnic ties. Myanmar has a substantial population of Indian origin (estt. vary from 1.5 million to 2.0 million). People-to-people contacts need to be fostered to keep alive our common Buddhist heritage. Further, Myanmar is the only ASEAN country adjoining India and, therefore, our gateway to South East Asia with which we are seeking greater economic integration through India’s 'Look East' and now ‘Act East’ Policy. Myanmar also offers us an alternative access route to the Northeast.

 

Since the 1990s, India has adopted a policy of working on improved Government-to-Government relations, keeping our geo-political and strategic interests in view as well as extending support to democratic forces. Myanmar’s transition to a Constitution-based quasi-civilian Government in 2011, dialogue that the Myanmar Government commenced a dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK) and appeal to overseas dissidents to return home and participate in the reform process opened up new possibilities for India’s engagement. The landslide victory by the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the November 8, 2015 elections in which the NLD won 255/323 seats (lower house) and 135/168 (upper house) and 475/630 (in regional/state Parliament) and formation of NLD government has further provided opportunities to strengthen the engagement.

 

India’s policy is shaped primarily by our desire to safeguard our national security interests, especially in the North East. The activities of Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) in particular NSCN (I/M), PLA, UNLF and ULFA and arms smuggling into India through Myanmar remain an important security concern for India. These groups find shelter and operate from camps in Myanmar and have been able to procure arms consignments from and via Myanmar from China’s Yunnan province. Enabling access to North-East is another key objective, while creating road and trade links between India and ASEAN is central to our Look East policy. With the emergence of Myanmar as India’s largest supplier of pulses it is integral to our food security, while possibilities of energy supply from offshore blocks in Myanmar and business opportunities that emerging from an opening economy underpin relations.

 

Various institutional mechanisms have infused dynamism to the growing and multi-faceted bilateral ties. The first meeting of the India-Myanmar Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) co-chaired by EAM and Myanmar FM U Wunna Maung Lwin was held on July 16, 2015 in New Delhi. Defence & security, trade & commerce, development cooperation, consular, cultural matters and cooperation in multilateral forums were among issued discussed. The JCC has been established as an umbrella mechanism to facilitate interaction between various line ministries on the two sides.

 

At the Secretary-level, meetings include Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) at the level of Foreign Secretary/Deputy Foreign Minister (last held in July 2014, N. Delhi and Nay Pyi Taw in July 2013) and National Level Meeting (NLM) at the level of Home Secretary/ Deputy Home Minister (19th NLM held on Nov 17-19, 2014, Yangon and 18th NLM on 28-29 Dec 2012, N. Delhi). At the Joint Secretary level, the meetings include: Sectoral Level Meetings (SLM) at Joint Secretary-level, MHA (20th SLM was held in Bagan on 19-20 June and 19th SLM at 26-27 June 2012, Kolkata), Regional Border Committee Meetings (RBCS) at Indian GOC 3 Corps-level and Myanmar North Western Regional Commander (the last RBC meeting was held in January 2015, Kalay), while the quarterly Army Border Liaison Meetings are held regularly. In addition, Border Liaison Offices have been set up involving field level functionaries at Tamu/ Moreh and Rhi/ Zowkhathar. Commercial issues are taken at the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) held at Commerce Minister level (last held in 16-17 February 2015, Nay Pyi Taw). JWG on Border Trade and Border Haats, Railways and Shipping are held to discuss connectivity-related issues.

High-level Visits

After a long hiatus after the visit of PM Rajiv Gandhi in 1987, there have been several high level visits including by Sr. Gen. Than Shwe (2004 and 2010), President Abdul Kalam (2006), Vice Sr. Gen. Maung Aye (2008), Vice President Ansari (2009), then President U Thein Sein (Oct 2011 & Dec 2012) and PM Dr. Manmohan Singh (May 2012). During these visits, important agreements were signed (MoU on Cooperation in Non-Traditional Security Issues, MoU on Intelligence Cooperation, DTAA, BIPPA, MLAT in Criminal Matters), and a number of development projects like the Kaladan project, restoration of Ananda Temple, hospital upgradation, OFL link. India has extended loans of US$ 297.43 million and grants of US$ 477.63 million for several infrastructure and public interest projects in health, education, agriculture etc.

 

PM Dr. Manmohan Singh paid a State Visit to Myanmar from May 27-29, 2012, after a gap of 25 years. PM and then President U Thein Sein signed 12 Agreements and MOUs including on USD 500 million Line of Credit, on Air Services, Border Areas Development, Establishment of the Advanced Centre for Agriculture Research & Education (ACARE), Rice Bio Park Myanmar and Institute of Information Technology with Indian assistance, Establishment of Border Haats, Joint Trade and Investment Forum, CEP for 2012-2015, MoUs for Cooperation amongst Think Tanks/ Institutes of the two countries and support for HRD through 500 training slots. With new road projects like the Trilateral Highway and Rhi-Tiddim road, India’s commitment to Myanmar’s development stands at about US$ 2 billion, which is more than the assistance offered by other countries.  

 

PM Narendra Modi visited Nay Pyi Taw from Nov 11-13, 2014 to attend the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and 9th East Asia Summit. PM called on President U Thein Sein and met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. PM also interacted with around 300 members of the PIO community of Myanmar.NSA attended the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement ceremony on 15 October 2015 as India’s witness signatory; other signatories included China, Thailand, EU, UN and Japan. NSA met President, C-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and Minister U Aung Min on the sidelines. The NCA was a landmark event in over 67 years of internal strife and was signed between Myanmar Government and with eight ethnic armed organisations. India’s presence was a demonstration of support to the peace process.

 

EAM paid an official visit to Myanmar from 14-16 December 2012 and met counterpart FM U Wunna Maung Lwin. EAM and FM signed the MOU for construction of Rhi-Tiddim Road in Chin State of Myanmar. EAM and Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham jointly inaugurated the “International Conference on Buddhist Cultural Heritage” organized by ICCR and Sitagu International Buddhist Academy in Yangon. EAM and Minister of Religious Affairs jointly unveiled the Sarnath Style Buddha Statue gifted by the People of India to Myanmar and also inaugurated the photo and book exhibition on “Buddhist Cultural Heritage” at the premises of Shwe Dagon Pagoda. EAM Sushma Swaraj visited Nay Pyi Taw from August 08-11 to attend the 4th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting and 21st ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting and paid an official bilateral visit on August 11, 2014. During the visit implementation of various ongoing development cooperation projects and cooperation for enhancing connectivity, increasing trade and commerce, security cooperation and renovation of Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Yangon were discussed.

 

RM led a high level delegation comprising of the Defence Secretary, Vice Chief of Naval staff, the GOC-in-C Eastern Command and other senior officials which visited Myanmar on 21 - 22 January 2013. During the visit, RM called on President U Thein Sein and had discussions with C-in-C Vice Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Wai Lwin. Lok Sabha Speaker led a first ever Indian Parliamentary delegation to Myanmar from 12-15 February 2013. Speaker called on the President and held discussions with Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann and Amyotha Hluttaw U Khin Aung Myint. The Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw hosted a banquet in honour of visiting Speaker and interacted with the Indian Community.

 

Then CITM Shri Anand Sharma visited Myanmar from 6-8 June 2013 to attend World Economic Forum on East Asia. CIM and Myanmar Minister of Commerce U Win Myint inaugurated the 1st India-Myanmar Joint Trade and Investment Forum, Yangon. MOS C&I Nirmala Sitharaman co-Chaired the 5th Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting with U Win Myint on 16-17 February, 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw. During the visit MOS interacted with the Myanmar captains of industries at UMFCCI in Yangon and addressed the function organized by the Indian community, Yangon. The 3rd CMLV (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam) Business Conclave was held on 12-13 January 2016 at Mamallapuram, near Chennai. MOS and Myanmar Dy. Commerce Minister Dr Pwint San co-chaired the Conclave along with Ministers from other CMLV countries. MOS C&I Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited Yangon on 17-18 May 2016 for the India-Myanmar Business Conclave. MOS was accompanied by a high-level CII delegation comprising over 35 delegates. During the visit MOS met the Myanmar Ministers for Construction, Commerce as well as Industry. This was the first Ministerial business delegation visiting Myanmar by any country after assumption of charge by the new government. Other visits include that of Chief Ministers of Sagaing and Mandalay regions of Myanmar, who visited the Sangai festival in November 2013 with a 110-member delegation that included businessmen, artistes and media.

 

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Commercial Activities

COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES

Indian commercial activities have increased since the opening of Myanmar economy and implementation of economic reforms. With the support of the Embassy several business interactions, exhibitions, B-2-B etc were organized during the visit of business delegations and business chambers from India. At the institutional level, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has developed links with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI). CII and NASSCOM have linkages with the Myanmar Computer Federation (MCF) since 2004. UMFCCI also has an understanding of cooperation with the Bengal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). North East India Federation of Investment and Trade signed an MoU with UMFCCI in July 2009 on bilateral Trade. Indo-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI) delegation visits Myanmar annually. Myanmar India Business Chamber, Yangon also has links with Federation of Industries and Commerce in North East India. Enterprise India shows and India product shows are organized regularly in Myanmar.

Visits

  1. Deputy Minister of Commerce Dr. Pwint Sann attended the 2nd India-ASEAN Business Fair & Business Conclave (IABF) on 18 December 2012 in New Delhi.
  2. Chief Minister of Sagaing U Tha Aye led a business delegation to attend the 8th North-East Business Summit at Delhi in January 2013 jointly organized by the Ministry of DoNER and Indian Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Under ICC Kolkata, Chief Minister of Manipur Shri O. Ibobi Singh led a business delegation including State Ministers form Nagaland and Mizoram. In total, over 120 delegates participated at the Regional Business and Investment Conclave at Monywa on 28 & 29 May, 2013. A Product Display was also held on the sidelines.
  4. Deputy Commerce Minister Dr. Pwint Sann led a business delegation to India to attend the 1st Business Conclave: “Creating New Economic Opportunities CLMV Business Conclave organized by CII on 21-22 October 2013.
  5. Chief Ministers of Sagaing and Mandalay led a 180-member business/cultural delegation to Imphal during inaugural flight of Golden Myanmar Airlines from Mandalay to Imphal and attended the 9th North–East India Business summit in Dibrugarh, Assam on 21&22 November 2013 hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) with support of Ministry of DoNER.
  6. Myanmar delegation is a regular participant at the EEPC Indian Engineering Sourcing Show in Mumbai. In 2013, a 40-member delegation led by Regional Ministers of Sagaing and Mandalay participated and in January 2014 a delegation led by U Kyaw Myint, Mandalay Region Minister for Electric & Industry, U Kyaw Win, Sagaing Region Minister for Electric & Industry, and U Aung Zaw Oo, Sagaing Region Minister of Transport, along with 15 businessmen attended the show.
  7. A 14- member delegation including two Ministers and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of Sagaing Region visited Guwahati to participate in North East India-ASEAN Trade Show from 22-27 February 2014.
  8. CITM Shri Anand Sharma’s visit to Myanmar for the WEF in 6-7 June 2013 and his meetings with his counterpart in Yangon and Minister of Energy in Nay Pyi Taw.
  9. MOS Commerce and Industry Dr. S. Nachiappan paid an official visit to Myanmar from 12-15 March 2014 to inaugurate the EEPC INDEE exhibition in Yangon. CM of Yangon joined MOS at the Inaugural ceremony. During MOS visit, he also called on Chief Minister of Yangon U Myint Swe in Yangon and in Nay Pyi Taw MOS met Union Minister of Industry U Maung Myint, Union Minister of Agriculture U Myint Hlaing, Union Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and rural Development U Ohn Myint, and Deputy Minister of Hotel and Tourism.
  10. Chief Minister of Chin State U Hong Ngai along with 38 member delegation including cultural troupe visited Imphal to attend Sangai Festival, an annual cultural festival of Manipur State from 20th– 24th November, 2014. A 10-member delegation led by Chief Minister of Sagaing Region U Tha Aye and Chief Minister of Kachin State U Lajon Ngan Sai visited India from 30th November – 7th December, 2014 at the invitation of the Chief Minister of Nagaland to attend the inauguration of Hornbill Festival, an annual cultural festival of Nagaland, India on 1st December, 2014. The Festival was inaugurated by Prime Minister. The two Chief Ministers then travelled to Shillong, Meghalaya State to attend a two day Conference/Seminar on India’s North Eastern States and Eastern Neighbours: Engaging for connectivity, culture and prosperity by an intelligent third space in Shillong on 5th and 6th December, 2014. The Seminar was organized by the Asian Confluence, Divya Jeevan Foundation in collaboration with Indian Council for World Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs. A delegation led by Sagaing Regional Minister of Industries led a business and cultural delegation to participate in the Assam International Fair from 19-25 February 2015.
  11. Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman paid an official visit to Myanmar and co-chaired the 5th Joint Trade Committee Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on 16-17 February 2015. She also called on Vice President (No.2) of Myanmar U Nyan Tun, and met Minister of President’s Office U Soe Thane and Minister of Commerce U Win Myint. In Yangon she had business interaction with the UMFCCI officials and Deputy Minister of Commerce Dr. Pwint Sann on 18 February 2015.
  12. Minister of Electric Power of Myanmar U Khin Maung Soe visited India from 27-30 April 2015 and had held discussions on cooperation in power sector with Minister of Power Shri Pyuish Goel, MOS (VK), NEEPCO & NTPC.
  13. Myanmar Economic Corporation Chairman led business delegation to India where the MEC delegation visited various industries in Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi; and explored business collaboration.
  14. MOS C&I Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited Yangon on 17-18 May 2016 for the India-Myanmar Business Conclave. MOS was accompanied by a high-level CII delegation comprising over 35 delegates. During the visit MOS met the Myanmar Ministers for Construction, Commerce as well as Industry. This was the first Ministerial business delegation visiting Myanmar by any country after assumption of charge by the new government.

Exchange of visits by various business chambers and participation in each other’s exhibitions/fairs has fortified the close and friendly ties between the two countries. Business delegations have been visiting Myanmar regularly and a number of business events are taking place in Myanmar. Indian commercial activities have increased over the last two years in Myanmar which include the following:

  1. India Product Show 2012 (March) representing 19 companies; NEFIT’s car rally from (March 2012) with over 60 participants (including over 35 business community representatives) from Guwahati to Yangon and back; Enterprise India show 2011 organised by CII in November 2011 (after a long gap of 7 years) in which over 60 Indian companies participated and a Seminar on the margins in which 20 leading Indian business companies participated.
  2. Shri Sanjay Bhudia            Chairman & MD, CII National Committee on Exports and Managing Director Patton International Ltd led a business delegation to Myanmar and held meetings with various Ministries in December 2012
  3. 18 companies from CHEMEXCIL also visited Myanmar in March 2011 and organized a Buyer Seller Meet at UMFCCI. MIBC and India's Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council, (PHARMEXCIL) also organized an Indian Pharma Exposition 2011 and Buyer-Seller Meet in February 2011 to boost partnership and cooperation in the Health sector.
  4. Similarly hospitals like Apollo, AMRI and started their operations through local Myanmar agents to boost Medical tourism. In the education sector, Myanmar India Business Chamber (MIBC) organized two Education fairs (March 2012 and May 2011) to create Indian education awareness in Myanmar. In March 2011, CII also organized the India – ASEAN Business Fair in New Delhi. Myanmar participated in the fair with great enthusiasm and even sent a 12 member cultural troupe during the period to India.
  5. The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) mounted a delegation to Myanmar of businessmen and policy makers from the north-eastern states of India from 26-31 August 2012. The business group included representatives from different sectors including power, oil, gas, textile, steel, construction, rubber, tea, tourism, teak and timber, IT, telecommunication etc. Later in March 2013, ICC has mounted a business delegation to Yangon and Sittwe and had held B2B and participated in a Business Seminar in Yangon.
  6. Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) organized an ‘India Show’ in Yangon from September 3-7, 2012. The ‘India Show’ consisted of a Buyer-Seller Meet and display of Indian products. The 30 member delegation mounted by FIEO had representatives from various sectors including solar energy, telecom, textiles, engineering goods, handloom and handicrafts, jute products, hardware, hand tools, spices, garments, artificial jewellery and incense products.
  7. IMCCI led delegation in September 2012 and had held meetings and B2B with business chambers in Yangon and Mandalay.
  8. A delegation each from Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) visited Myanmar in August and September 2012 respectively to discuss mutual cooperation in banking sector.
  9. Several commercial activities in the field of agriculture in the form of training courses for farmers in Mandalay and Sagaing Region were also undertaken. In this connection a four days training was held in Kyaukse from 18-21 October
  10. A 13-member business delegation from Indo-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry visited Mandalay from 28 October to 5 November 2012.
  11. Samir Walia, President ‘Frankfinn Air Hostess Training Academy’ visited, Mandalay in November 2012 and held discussions with Heads of local domestic Airlines and training institutes for prospects in the field.
  12. EEPC India delegation led by Rakesh Shah visited Yangon and had held B2B with UMFCCI members on 14 January 2013.
  13. Bengal Chambers of Commerce (February 2013), Calcutta Chamber of Commerce (April 2013) have mounted business delegation to Myanmar. Calcutta Chamber of Commerce in Mandalay signed MoUs with the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI).
  14. CII-Western region delegation led by Shri Ninad Karpe visited Myanmar from 15-21 September 2013 and had held discussions with UMFCCI officials and called on Vice President U Nyan Tun and senior Ministers in Nay Pyi Taw.
  15. An India Product Show-2014 was organized by Indo-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce (Mumbai) from January 17-19, 2014 in Mandalay. Indian companies namely Kirloskar, TVS Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra , Shakti Pumps, Ind Boilers, Sahayadri Industries etc and over 40 companies participated in show and B2B interaction. Over 40 Artisans of Manipur and Handloom and Handicraft Exhibition with support from the State government of Manipur also participated at Indian Product Display.
  16. A 12 member farmer’s delegation from Mandalay and Sagaing attended the 1st International Agro Horticulture show at Guwahati in January 2014.
  17. CII organized with the support of Ministry of commerce organized 2nd Enterprise India show in Yangon from 14-16 January 2014 which was jointly inaugurated by CM of Yangon region and Ambassador of India.
  18. The Consulate General of India, Mandalay organized a Business to Business meeting on February 27, 2014 in collaboration with Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) and Myanmar Computer Federation (MCF).
  19. EEPC-INDEE Myanmar an engineering exhibition was organised by EEPC with the support of Embassy in Yangon from 13-15 March 2014. 109 Indian companies participated at the exhibition. CM of Yangon and MOS Commerce and Industry Dr. S. Nachiappan jointly inaugurated the exhibition.
  20. Indian Chamber of Commerce in association with Embassy of India and UMFCCI organized an India Investrade 2014 in Sedona Hotel from 23-24 July 2014. 55 companies from various sectors participated in the exhibition cum conference and B2b events. CM of Yangon region inaugurated the event on 23 July. Following which a seminar was also organized in Mandalay on 25 July on enhancing border trade.
  21. FICCI with the support of Ministry of Commerce and Embassy of India organized a Trade and Investment Show from 24-27 September 2014 in Tatmadaw hall in Yangon. Minister of Industry U Maung Myint and Ambassador of India Inaugurated the event. 105 companies from India participated. On the second day 25 September “make in india” launch was also organized at the venue.
  22. SRTEPC organized a B2B meeting cum exhibition (INTEXPO) in Yangon from 15 to 16 October 2014 at the Parkroyal Hotel, Yangon.
  23. CII organized 3rd Enterprise India show in Mandalay in October 2014 where over 80 companies participated. CM of Mandalay inaugurated the event.
  24. TEXPROCIL mounted a delegation to Myanmar from 9-12 December 2014 and held BSMs in Yangon and Mandalay.
  25. Pharmaxcil organized Expo-cum BSM in Yangon, from 19-21 February 2015.
  26. EEPC organized an Engineering exhibition in Mandalay from 27 February- 1 March 2015 where over 80 Indian engineering companies participated.
  27. Embassy of India organized an India-Myanmar Solar Energy Workshop on 17 March 2015 in Yangon where speakers from leading solar energy companies from India viz., SunEdison, Waaree, Exide participated at the Workshop.
  28. India Education Fair was organized by Sapaevents in Yangon on 28-29 March 2015.
  29. India-International Plastic Exhibition was organized 1-3 April 2015, Yangon.
  30. Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), with the support of DOC, Government of India, Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association (MAMDA) and Embassy organized a BSM in Yangon on 7 August 2015 at the Summit Parkview Hotel, Yangon.
  31. Federation of Gujarat Industries mounted a 20-member business delegation to Yangon from 12-14 September 2015; and the Embassy organized a BSM Yangon.
  32. CII with the support of DOC and Embassy organized the 4th Enterprise India show in Yangon from 29 October 2014 to 1 November 2015, where over 80 companies participated. CM of Yangon inaugurated the event.
  33. A Seminar for strengthening trade and economic cooperation was also organized by the Embassy on 29 October at Parkroyal, Yangon
  34. Wines of India-a wine appreciation event was organized by the Embassy with the support of APEDA on 29 October 2015                
    index 

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