Burma and India to Advance Trade

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 5 September 2016

RANGOON — The Indo Myanmar Chamber of Commerce Industries and the Burmese government have agreed to promote cross-border trade and development of Burma’s agricultural sector after a meeting on Saturday.

Than Myint, Minister of Commerce and Rohinton Engineer, vice president of Indo Myanmar Chambers of Commerce Industries—along with a team of delegates—met in Naypyidaw to promote trade through an updated banking system, and to facilitate the allowance of arrival visas in border stations between the two countries.

“We will promote more trade volume between the two countries. India has agreed to buy more and more beans and pulses from Myanmar every year,” Yan Naing Tun, director general of the Department of Trade within the Ministry of Commerce, told the Irrawaddy.

He added that India has agreed to buy at least 9 million tons of beans and pulses from Burma, and that the amount will increase annually.

“India agreed to help us with improving technology for firms dealing in beans and pulses,” Yan Naing Tun added.

The Indo-Myanmar delegation came to Burma after President U Htin Kyaw’s visit to India last week.

In September 3, the delegates also met with Minister of Industry Khin Maung Cho on behalf of investors eyeing the agricultural sector, through the production of equipment and the sharing of biogas technology, as well as through developing the food and garment industries.

Despite being neighbors, India’s total investment in Burma was around US$224 million during the 2015-2016 fiscal year—significantly lower than the investments of other regional countries, like China. No new Indian investments were made during the first four months of the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, total trade volume between India and Burma is just over US$1 billion, while Burma-China trade has reached nearly $11 billion.