Bor­der mar­kets slated for Chin State

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han CHAN MYA HTWE chan­myahtwe@mm­times.com

Whole­sale mar­kets are to be es­tab­lished along the bor­der with In­dia that of­fi­cials say will give a boost to Chin State trade.

HIGH-LEVEL diplo­macy seems to have yielded prompt ac­tion, as In­dia and the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties of Chin State pre­pare to set up whole­sale cen­tres to stim­u­late trade on both sides of the bor­der.

The prepa­ra­tions fol­low the meet­ing last week be­tween State Coun­sel­lor and For­eign Min­is­ter Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. The Chin State gov­ern­ment has al­ready sprung into ac­tion.

State Plan­ning and Fi­nance Min­is­ter U Wee Kaw told The Myan­mar Times that com­modi­ties ex­changes will open in towns along the In­dian bor­der.

“We’re plan­ning with In­dia to open bor­der mar­kets. Dis­cus­sions are pro­ceed­ing about four or five lo­ca­tions, on both sides of the bor­der.”

On the Chin State side, the cen­tres are thought likely to open in Ton­zang, Falam, Matupi and Htant­lang town­ships, he said.

The open­ing of the bor­der is ex­pected to in­crease job op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal res­i­dents as goods be­gin to flow, said U Wee Kaw.

“It will be good for both sides to es­tab­lish these whole­sale cen­tres,” he said.

The main com­modi­ties to be traded are ex­pected to in­clude lo­cal farm crops and an­i­mal hus­bandry prod­ucts.

The new fa­cil­i­ties will ex­pand trade cur­rently be­ing car­ried on along the Htan­ta­lang route.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce, In­dia-Myan­mar trade amounted to more than US$1.7 bil­lion last fis­cal year, with a slight sur­plus on the Myan­mar side since 2011-12. How­ever, trade with In­dia is less than that with Myan­mar’s other neigh­bours.

The min­is­ter said In­dia had also of­fered help with im­prov­ing bridges to ease trans­porta­tion dif­fi­cul­ties.

The state coun­sel­lor was on her first of­fi­cial visit to New Delhi where she at­tended the Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi-Sec­toral Tech­ni­cal and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (BIMSTEC) and the eco­nomic group­ing of five na­tions known as BRICS.

Though Myan­mar shares a bor­der – and cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal links –with both In­dia and China, an­a­lysts have long noted its far more ex­ten­sive eco­nomic ties to Bei­jing.

Pledges by New Delhi in re­cent years to “look east” to South­east Asia have been crit­i­cised as more talk than ac­tion.

On her three-day trip to In­dia, which ended on Oc­to­ber 19, the state coun­sel­lor and Mr Modi agreed to re­move ob­sta­cles to trade so as to pro­mote com­merce and in­vest­ment on both sides.

They also agreed to hold early joint meet­ings to main­tain mo­men­tum on the ex­pan­sion of bor­der trade, in­clud­ing seek­ing im­prove­ments at the bor­der cross­ing at Tamu-Moreh.

In­dia, a huge cus­tomer for Myan­mar’s beans and pulses, also wants to help Myan­mar de­velop re­search into dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of beans.

‘It will be good for both sides to es­tab­lish these whole­sale cen­tres.’

U Wee Kaw Plan­ning and fi­nance min­istry

Photo: Thiri Lu

Of­fi­cials are hop­ing that lo­cal pro­duce in Chin State will re­ceive a boost with the devel­op­ment of bor­der mar­kets.

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