India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties.

As the land of Lord Buddha, India is a country of pilgrimage for the people of Myanmar. India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. A large population of Indian origin (according to some estimates about 2.5 million) lives in Myanmar. India and Myanmar signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1951. India-Myanmar relations have developed and diversified satisfactorily. A number of agreements enhancing bilateral Cooperation have been signed. Institutional mechanisms for facilitating regular dialogue on a range of issues of bilateral interest have also been established. During 2002, the Indian Consulate General in Mandalay was reopened and the Consulate General of Myanmar was set up in Kolkata. Following the cataclysmic cyclone µNargis¶ which hit Myanmar in May 2008, India responded immediately with relief materials and offers of assistance. Recently, India also announced assistance of US $1 million for humanitarian relief and rehabilitation in the areas affected by the severe earthquake in Shan State in March 2011. Of this amount, US$ 250,000 has been handed over as a cash grant to the Myanmar Government while the remainder will be used for projects and supplies for the earthquake victims. Details of these projects are being worked out in consultation with the concerned authorities of Myanmar. COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS
India is the largest market for Burmese exports, buying about USD 220 million worth of goods in 2000; India's exports to Burma stood at USD 75.36 million India is Burma¶s 4th largest trading partner after Thailand, China and Singapore, and second largest export market after Thailand, absorbing 25 percent of its total exports. India is also the seventh most important source of Burma¶s imports

Bilateral trade has expanded significantly from US$ 12.4 million in 1980-81 to US$ 1207.56 million in 2009-10. India's imports from Myanmar are dominated by agricultural items (beans, pulses and forest based products form 90% of our imports). India¶s main exports to Myanmar are primary and semifinished steel and pharmaceuticals. Following are the export-import figures as per the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Yangon:-

Myanmar: Trade with India EXPORTS (US$ million) 2004-05 2005-06 341.40 489.10 IMPORTS (US$ million) 83.37 80.07 TOTAL (US$ million) 424.77 569.17

13 901. a Bilateral Investment Promotion Agreement (BIPA) and a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) were also signed in 2008. 2000. as was an MoU between Myanmar-India Business Club (MIBC) and Federation of Industries and Commerce of NorthEastern Region.14 1204. TRADE FAIRS & MARKET PROMOTION Recent trade promotion events include the India Pharmaceutical Expo 2011 held in Yangon with the help of PHARMEXCIL and the Myanmar Medical Association. which was signed in August 2009. An MoU was also signed between CII and the Myanmar Computer Federation (MCF) in 2001. In 2008.85 804. the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) entered into an MoU in February.Tamu and Zowkhatar ±Rhi on the 1664 km long border.2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11(Apr-Dec) 733. During the 3rd India-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee in October 2008. In addition to this. United Bank of India signed an MoU with three Myanmar national banks (Myanma Foreign Trade Bank.59 786. Agreement has also been reached on setting up a third border trade point at Avakhung-Pansat/Somra. Border trade: India and Myanmar signed a border trade agreement in 1994 and have two operational border trade points (Moreh.81 893. an Agreement on setting up of a Joint Task Force between Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Confederation of India Industry was signed.96 At the institutional level.18 194. In 2004.03 126. the North East India Conclave held in Yangon and Mandalay in September 2010 by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. this channel is being mostly utilized for border trade only.56 660. Myanmar is also a beneficiary country under India¶s Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme for LDCs.31 951. However. Notifications to this effect have been issued by both sides.54 173.15 159. India and Myanmar are both signatory to the India-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.96 1010. Kolkata and the . during the 3rd Joint Trade Committee Meeting between India and Myanmar. it was agreed that Border Trade at the existing points would be upgraded to Normal Trade so as to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.46 146.59 727. Myanma Economic Bank and & Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank) to facilitate trade.

New Delhi by XP Division. \ CULTURAL EXCHANGE: Performances by Indian cultural troupes in Myanmar have been organised on a regular basis since 1997. Mumbai to Myanmar in January 2010 etc. They also performed in Shillong. In January 2010. Meghalaya. The slots for Myanmar trainees in 2010-11 were as follows: ITEC 140. Classes in Bharatnatyam and Yoga have been started in the Embassy since December 2010. seminar. This event has become a highlight of the Yangon cultural calendar. A 15-member theatre group from Myanmar went to India participate in ³South Asian Theatre Festival´ organized by ICCR and NSD in March 2010. All the events were very well received by the Myanmar public and media. a 13-member student group from Myanmar attended SAARC Cultural Festival in India. a popular Myanmar music band µEmperor¶ went to India to participate in the ³South Asian Bands Festival´ organized by ICCR. TCS ± 70.UMFCCI. the Embassy organized the annual ³Indian Film Festival´ at Yangon. TCS of Colombo Plan. a famous landscape artist from Myanmar went to Puducherry. film festival etc. In November 2009. artists¶ camp. GCSS of ICCR ± 10 and MGCSS . The paintings emerging from that camp were exhibited in the Embassy Auditorium in Novemebr 2010 and received an outstanding response from the local community. COOPERATION BETWEEN INDIA AND MYANMAR IN THE REGIONAL / SUBREGIONAL CONTEXT ASEAN: Myanmar became a member of ASEAN in July 1997. . Utilization has been excellent.10. We have also offered training to two sets of local journalists who were given an intensive training at IIMC. Myanmar is a bridge between India and ASEAN. The ³Abiogenesis´ band performed Yangon and Mandalay in the last week of May 2010. including a dance drama. As the only ASEAN country which shares a land border with India. A few proposals for cooperation have been implemented and some are under discussions with Myanmar within the framework of ASEAN¶s IAI programme. India to participate in ³South Asian Artists Camp´ organized by ICCR and SEHER. There was a packed calendar of commemorative activities for the Rabindranath Tagore 150th birth anniversary celebrations. In December 2009. TRAINING PROGRAMMES Myanmar is a beneficiary of training programmes under ITEC. In March 2010. Various cultural troupes have exchanged visits and performed in both countries. the interest levels are high. visits by the Indo. GCSS and MGCSS schemes. with the support of the ICCR. In 2011-12 also. A Qawalli group (Sabri Brothers) performed in Yangon and other cities in Myanmar in January 2011.Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI).

It lost the gas deal because of a lack of speed and a lack of clarity. 3)Burmese-China relations. The Indian Diaspora is not being helped by the Indian administration in setting up trade between India and Myanmar. FUTURE PROSPECT: Although the trade between INDIA and MYANMAR is on the rise but is not up to the potential. seen as reliable and because of the political support to Myanmar (read UN veto). Along with much of the world. although the administration seems to be open to more Indian involvement. China got the gas deal because it was quick. increasing its own isolation from the world. overthrow of the democratic government by the Military of Burma led to strains in ties. 4) India was slow and hesitant in reacting to the 2007 Burmese anti-government protests that had drawn overwhelming international condemnation. India condemned the suppression of democracy and Burma ordered the expulsion of the Burmese Indian community. a road. specifically the upgrading of a naval base in Sittwe. a gas and a crude oil pipeline in two years to Yunnan province. 2) the suppression of democracy and the rule of the military junta in Burma. India has been too slow and is not in any way organised about its relationship with Myanmar. All transactions have to go through Singapore. Future relation wills depends on the following issue: Myanmar 1. . This low-key response has been widely criticised both within India and abroad as weakening India's credentials as a leading democratic nation. This is more the case with the general population that the administration.Problem Areas between India-Myanmar 1) drug trafficking. (The contract was awarded to a Chinese company in July 2007). 3) influx of Burmese refugees into India. China has offered to build a port at Kyawk Pyiu. illegal trade through bordders. . Concerns and tensions increased in India over China's extensive military cooperation and involvement in developing ports. India also declared that it had no intention of interfering in Burma's internal affairs and that the Burmese people would have to achieve democracy by themselves. 2. They realise that India is the other big neighbour. India has hardly contributed to infrastructure development on the Indo-Myanmar 5. naval and intelligence facilities and industries. Only China maintained close links with Burma while India supported the pro-democracy movement. 6. 3. 4. a major seaport located close to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. 7. There is a general sense of unease about only Chinese influence in Myanmar ± India is seen as a potential balancer.

However. but as per rules set under multilateral trade agreements or the regional trade agreement to come to force in the coming years. 7. 4. Different ministries work separately from each other with different goals and visions. The µLook East¶ policy has had little effect on the North East. With customs duties already much reduced in India under WTO obligations and slated . 5. were there earlier and have more resources to throw around. India¶s current priorities seem to lie with the Indo-US nuclear deal and after that with the Iran Pakistan India pipeline. 3. The original vision of opening up the land locked area seems to have been lost as only Moreh is open. India 1. Border trade is liberated from the shackles of the barter system and allowed to take place in the usual form of general international trade. Transit of third country products is allowed openly. 6.border with the exception of Moreh and the road there. Everything seems to stop at the next election. 8. drive from previous administration is lost. The list of items to be traded should not be restricted to the ones covered in the existing border trade agreements but extended to include all items permissible as per bilateral and multilateral agreements on trade between the two countries. Ministry of Commerce or Ministry of Petroleum. Trade is officially allowed to take place in the market determined currency exchange rate. ii. This is especially the case with the Ministry of External Affairs vs. Indian administrations do not seem to have a long term (20 year+) vision. getting gas or promoting other linkages. 9. If anything has to come through it has to be pushed through the Prime Minister¶s Office (for example the Indo-US nuclear deal Everyone tends to shrug and say that the Chinese are better organised. There seems to be no long term understanding about what to do about China and China¶s encroaching presence in the region. Ambivalence about Myanmar. No clear policy or vision with regard to building greater trade links. no one is willing to drive forward with an Indian agenda. 2. iii. Way to Move Forward: The alternative that suggests itself is the two countries sit down to discuss the issues and come to some agreements so that at least the following can be achieved: i. Possibly this applies to the ministry of Defence as well. although that could not be verified.

routing existing informal import flows through formal channels should not be a problem. . The problems of moving the existing informal exports from Indian side to Myanmar in a legal way need to be sorted out. the items like kerosene and fertilisers. which are heavily subsidised for domestic users in India and not meant to be subsidised for be further slashed between members countries of the forthcoming regional trading block. While legally exporting such industrial goods like machinery and medicines should not be a problem. iv. will present some difficulties.

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