Wednesday, February 21, 2024

India wants more border trade posts

India will seek the opening of two more border trade points with Myanmar when Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh travels to the country this week, a government statement said Sunday. Ramesh will Tuesday start his two-day visit, his third this year, to hold talks on trade and investment with Myanmar.
The statement said the minister would take up the “Indian desire” to open more trade centres along the 1,600-km long border, which currently has only one trade post at Moreh in Manipur.
The two new border points to be proposed by India are Avangkhu in Nagaland and Zowkhathar in Mizoram.
“However, border trade centres in Arunachal Pradesh are not under discussion because of security and other considerations on the Indian side,” said the statement.
Besides, India will propose an expansion of tradable items, and offer to extend its duty free tariff scheme for the least developed countries to Myanmar.
“The details of the financing mechanism to facilitate expanded bilateral trade will also be firmed up during the Mandalay talks. UBI (Union Bank of India) has already signed an agreement with the Foreign Trade Bank of Myanmar for establishing such a mechanism,” it added.
India has been assiduously courting Myanmar’s military junta, worried over Chinese influence in the Southeast Asian nation. Myanmar has also been a security worry for India, as several insurgency groups based in the northeastern states used to cross the border for shelter.
In his previous visits in May and June this year, Ramesh had signed a slew of development ventures, which included two lines of credit worth $60 million each for a power transmission and a hydel power project.
Besides, India is implementing Rs.5.4 billion Kaladan multi-modal transport and transit project that will provide an alternative route to connect Myanmar’s Sittwe port to India’s northeast. “Lines of credit for refinery modernisation and highways are on the anvil,” said the statement.

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