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India Committed To Be A Steadfast Partner Of Myanmar: Anand Sharma

The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles Shri Anand Sharma today asserted that with democracy tightening its grip in Myanmar, which has provided a right enabling environment to inspire investors’ confidence, India remains committed “to be a steadfast partner of Myanmar as it charters its path to growth and progress.” Speaking during a session entitled “The Long-Term View” at the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2013 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar today, Shri Sharma highlighted that India’s engagement with Myanmar is premised on a strong development partnership and that India would like to align its cooperation with the economic priorities of Myanmar.

With India concluding a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with ASEAN, Shri Sharma stressed that this over-arching framework will act as a catalyst to boost trade and investment ties with countries of the region including Myanmar. “India is working closely with Myanmar and Thailand to develop the tri-lateral highway as we call it… we are half-way there and am sure that by 2015-2016, this should be fully operational,” announced Shri Sharma.

Shri Sharma also spoke on the importance of investment in human resource, by adding that India has always believed that it will reap dividends in the long run. “We have already established Centre of Excellence in IT sector in Yangon. We are going to establish now Information Technology institute like a university in Mandalay. In addition to that we have also established an Industrial Training Centre in Pakokku to develop skilled labour for Myanmar industry,” said Shri Sharma. During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2012, India announced doubling the number of training slot to Myanmar from 250 to 500.

Shri Sharma also added that India would also like to share her experiences with Myanmar in the enhancement of agricultural productivity and agricultural extension. “With this end in view, we are establishing an Advance Centre for Agricultural Research and Education at Yezin and a Rice Bio Park is also being established in Myanmar through grant assistance by India,” said Shri Sharma.

Speaking during the session, Shri Sharma also highlighted the importance of developing high-quality infrastructure. Putting stress on the fact that sound infrastructure will help in the creation of a robust economic linkage between India, Myanmar and beyond, Shri Sharma said that “India is developing Kaladan Multimodal Transit-Transport Project which will connect Mizoram to Sittwe port in Myanmar.”