En­hanc­ing Part­ner­ship

Southasia - - Briefing -

Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh’s re­cent visit to Myan­mar has high­lighted In­dia’s in­ter­ests and com­mit­ment to the coun­try and its de­vel­op­ment. The first visit by an In­dian leader in the past 25 years came amidst in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion ac­corded to Myan­mar for its po­lit­i­cal re­forms and un­tapped nat­u­ral re­sources. Both the U.S and EU have shown a height­ened in­ter­est and have in­creased diplo­matic ties. In­dia, clearly threat­ened by geo-in­ter­ests has en­tered the game as well.

PM Singh met with Myan­mar’s re­formist Pres­i­dent, Thein Sein. Dur- ing the meet­ing the two heads of state signed 12 agree­ments, one of which in­cluded a $500 mil­lion line of credit. In ad­di­tion to this, agree­ments on in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion and agri­cul­tural re­forms were also reached. The two lead­ers agreed to en­hance trans­port links along their border to fa­cil­i­tate trade and tourism and held ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions about strength­en­ing air, rail and ship­ping links. In terms of en­ergy de­vel­op­ment, In­dia has hinted at in­vest­ing in the Dawei port as well as a port in Sit­twe, which will al­low for an ex­ten­sive river and road net­work, carv­ing out a trade route for both coun­tries and pro­vid­ing jobs to 600 Myan­mar work­ers.

In­dia is Myan­mar’s third big­gest ex­port mar­ket and fol­low­ing the meet­ing, ex­ports are ex­pected to rise to $2 bil­lion from the cur­rent $1.4 bil­lion in the next two years.

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