An India Myanmar Business Conclave was hosted by India at Yangon on 18-20 May 2016 as part of its Act East policy. A 25 member business delegation from India attended the Conclave led by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. More than 40 top CEOs from Myanmar also attend the Conclave. This is the first visit of any Minister from India after the new government in Myanmar.
Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Myanmar for landslide victory by the National League for Democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the elections held in November 2015. She acknowledged the calibrated and pragmatic stand of the Government towards a peaceful and orderly assumption of power.
Highlight of the event was a Government-Business Round table on the theme: ‘Forging Partnerships’. Speaking in the Roundtable, Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed that India had opened 96.4% of tariff lines at zero duty for Myanmar under its Duty Free Tariff Preference scheme besides ASEAN India FTA. The transition from barter trade to normal trade wef 1 Dec 2015 was a step forward to boost trade. Similarly, a liberal access was available for Services including a visa fee waiver for Myanmar applicants applying for Indian Business and Employment visas.
At the inauguration Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged Myanmar’s achievement in organic and sustainable agriculture. She offered that India can cooperate in boosting productivity by providing technology and agri equipment. She said that pharmaceutical sector is an area where India can engage actively specially for public heath care. Commerce Minister also identified Textiles, IT, Automobile industry wherein India can engage for mutual benefit. She conveyed India’s commitment to contribute to Myanmar’s development including road and connectivity projects, border projects such as border haats and ICPs. Commerce and Industry Minister of India invited Myanmar to hold road shows in key cities of India exhibiting the opportunities available in Myanmar to connect to larger numbers of Indian businesses.
The two days conclave witnesses intensive sessions and B2B interactions in the sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and Employment, IT, Health, Education, Skill Development, Power & Renewable energy, Connectivity (Air, Sea, Land), Tourism and Hospitality, SEZs, Industrial Zones and Finance.
Nirmala Sitharaman had bilateral interactions with U Win Khaing, Myanmar Minister for Construction, Than Myint, Myanmar Minister for Commerce and U Khin Maung Cho, Myanmar Minister for Industry. Issues related to long term engagement on G2G basis for procurement of pulses, easy access to Indian pharma products and pharma companies, Indian investment in infrastructure, capacity enhancement and upgrading border infrastructure, were discussed between the two sides. Myanmar requested for cooperation in skill development, capacity building and training for both public and private sector. India assured that it shall assist Myanmar in its endeavor to modernize and assist based on the priority areas where such cooperation is sought by Myanmar.