Wa­ter links from In­dia to Myan­mar

To strengthen ties with Myan­mar, the Govern­ment has asked the Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (SCI) to start fresh ship­ping lines be­tween In­dia and its Eastern neigh­bour.

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to sources, “The Trade & Eco­nomic Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee un­der the PM’s of­fice has i ssued a fresh man­date to in­crease ties with Myan­mar, keep­ing in mind i ts i mpor­tance as a strate­gic trade par tner, both in terms of i mports and ex­ports in the i mme­di­ate neigh­bour­hood.”

Officials in the ex­ter­nal af­fairs, com­merce and ship­ping min­istries, and in­dus­try bod­ies are un­der­stood to have met on this is­sue and have asked SCI to make its first move soon. “Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi was likely to an­nounce this on his maiden In­de­pen­dence Day speech on Au­gust 15, but given the lo­gis­ti­cal bar­ri­ers, it is likely to be flagged off in Septem­ber,” the of­fi­cial added.

For this, SCI would be given a sub­sidy for the first six months. At the meet­ing, SCI had ex­pressed con­cerns over a di­rect com­pe­ti­tion from the Chi­nese ship­ping lin­ers that al­ready op­er­ate on this route and have cheaper fa­cil­i­ties avail­able.

The first ship­ping line is likely to be flagged off from Kr­ish­na­p­at­tam port in Andhra Pradesh.

The two neigh­bours have al­ready agreed to en­hance their trade to US$3 bil­lion by 2015. Myan­mar had agreed to en­cour­age in­vest­ments by In­dian com­pa­nies, both pub­lic and pri­vate, in oil and nat­u­ral gas sec­tor, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, fer­tilis­ers and other smallscale devel­op­ment projects in the border re­gions.

In the mar­itime arena, the two sides have re­it­er­ated their com­mit­ment to co­op­er­ate in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ta­mathi and Sh­wezaye projects on the Chind­win River Basin in Myan­mar. The In­dian side has fur­ther as­sured Myan­mar of the com­ple­tion of the Kal­adaan project by 2014 and the Trilateral High­way by 2016.

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