India offers to aid Myanmar in boosting agriculture, healthcare

Updated on : May 19,2016   9:56 pm

Yangon/New Delhi May 19 (IANS) India on Thursday offered to assist Myanmar in the area of public healthcare and provide support in boosting agricultural production.

The offer was made by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the India Myanmar Business Conclave held at Myanmarese capital Yangon, according to an Indian commerce ministry statement in New Delhi.

"India can cooperate in boosting productivity by providing technology and agri equipment," Sitharaman said at the conclave.

Pharmaceutical sector is another area where India can engage actively specially for public healthcare, she added.

Sitharaman also identified textiles, IT and automobiles as the industries where the two countries can work together.

"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," the statement said, adding she "acknowledged the calibrated and pragmatic stand of the (Myanmar) Government towards a peaceful and orderly assumption of power".

Leading businesspersons from Myanmar as well as many ministers attended the conclave.

Sitharaman later held bilateral meetings with Myanmar's Minister for Construction Win Khaing, Minister for Commerce Than Myint, and Minister for Industry Khin Maung Cho, the statement said.

Issues related to long-term engagement on 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, it added.

Sitharaman conveyed India's commitment to Myanmar's development, including road and connectivity, as well as border projects such as border 'haats' and Integrated Check Posts.

"The transition from barter trade to normal trade with effect from December 1, 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," she said.

The minister also invited Myanmar to hold roadshows in Indian cities to showcase opportunities for Indian businesses.

Sitharaman is leading a high-level CEO delegation to Myanmar May 18-20 as part of India's "Act East" policy.

The delegation includes Naushad Forbes, president of industry chamber CII, Rakesh Mittal of Bharti Enterprises, Shobana Kamineni of Apollo Hospitals, Arundhati Bhattacharya of State Bank of India, and Madhu Kannan of Tata Sons, among others.

India-Myanmar bilateral trade was valued at around $2 billion in 2014-15.