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FIEO Eastern Region and the Embassy of Myanmar comes together to discuss on the bilateral trade

Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) Eastern Region and the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar comes together to deliberate on several aspects and issues related to bilateral trade between India – Myanmar. Trade delegation from Myanmar visited along with the minister to discuss on the bilateral trade promotion.

 

Presenting the inaugural speech, Mr Yogesh Gupta, Chairman, FIEO, Easter Region said, From the perspective of our state West Bengal, interestingly, one of major commodities i.e., Human Hair gets exported from this state, both in waste as well as in Unworked – whether or not washed or scoured forms. Other items of exports include iron and steel products; ball point pens (without liquid ink) etc. There are quite a few of other many other products – most of which are nominal as per data available.

 

India – Myanmar have shared very deep trade and economic ties historically over the decades. India’s exports to Myanmar stood at around USD 839.04 million in 2021-22. The major commodities exported were pharmaceutical products including vaccines; human hair; electrical & electronic equipment’s; articles of iron and steel; various types of machineries; items/spares of vehicles; aviation turbine fuel; tobacco items; maize seed; various types of food preparations etc. While the major commodities imported by India in 2021-22 were miscellaneous edible preparations; pigeon peas; betel nut products (supari); edible fruits and vegetables; rubber items; glass and glass ware items. The total imports were of around USD 798.77 million in 2021-22.

 

Speaking on this occasion Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Union Minister, Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar, said, “India is the 4th largest trading partner of Myanmar. we are here to discuss the bilateral trade between two countries. Myanmar Govt is emphasizing on few economic policies to boost the trade. Govt is focusing to promote export and import with neighboring countries and India is on top priority on our radar for export, import and economic relation. Investment from neighboring countries is most welcome.”.

 

Energy and Food security are the 2 most important pillars of our bilateral relations. With India’s state-owned and private companies acquiring gas blocs in that country. India has been given the right to build, operate and use the offshore hub for Myanmar gas. Myanmar is potentially an important partner in the energy sector as future offshore gas finds can be piped to India.  Myanmar is also of the major supplier of beans and pulses to India. Pulses contribute as one of the largest items in Myanmar’s limited export basket. Another important component of Myanmar’s exports to India has been timber & wood articles. Timber exports have, however, slowed down since the last couple of years based on data available. Other than these, Myanmar exports – farm, forest, mining, marine and animal products, industrial finished products and few other products.

 

Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador, Embassy of Myanmar, India, “expressed his happiness for organising the round table conference on India- Myanmar Bilateral Trade and boosting the trade and urged the Indian businessman to visit Myanmar and explore more business opportunity. Myanmar is always ready to promote social economic cooperation”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though bilateral trade between the 2 countries have risen significantly since the 1990’s to the present decade. However, incidentally, at present, in terms of overall trade and / or as a trading partner, India doesn’t feature in the TOP 5 with Myanmar whose major trading partners are – China (31.75%); Thailand; Japan; USA and Singapore – In fact, this has happened rapidly and aggressively since opening up of Myanmar’s economy with new scopes and avenues for trade and investment. Therefore, it needs to be evaluated holistically on how these two nations whose bonding goes back millennia and have shared religious, linguistic and ethnic ties can further propel growth and deepen trade and investment relations.

 

A closer look needs to be taken of the present situation and impediments including – trade barriers (both tariff and non-tariff), strategic, logistics challenges etc. and how those can be overcome in the coming years so that both nations can form a major force to reckon with in South East Asia.

 

The bilateral border trade agreement of 1994 provides for border trade to be carried out from three designated border points, one each in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. Bilateral trade through the India-Myanmar land border is however low in comparison to overall trade between the two countries and had accounted for less than 1 per cent of total India- Myanmar trade during the period 2011-12 to 2017-18. This was because formal trade across a border involves high transaction cost due to factors such as poor connectivity, lack of quality infrastructure border crossing points, non-tariff barriers, limited trade financing institutions and rampant extortion of informal/ side payments (by insurgents).

 

The focus area on which Indian Businessman can look for investment in Myanmar are like Power, infrastructure, education, pharmaceutical etc. FIOE members urged the minister to increase the no of cargo vessel movement Kolkata Port from Myanmar.

 

The round table was attended by the members of FIEO Eastern Region and the Myanmar Business delegates.

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