Ansari to go on a four-day visit to Myanmar to strengthen ties

February 4th, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ravi Shankar

New Delhi, Feb.4 (ANI): Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will leave on a four-day official visit to Myanmar on Thursday, leading a high-level delegation comprising Parliamentarians and businessmen.

The Vice President Ansari’’s visit gains significance in terms of strengthening ties between the two countries, as India wishes to engage Myanmar on the highest-level and to intensify the process of a series of high-level reciprocal visits, a trend that commenced in recent years, said Vivek Katju, Additional secretary of the political and international organisations (PLO) here.

India will sign three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Myanmar; setting up of an industrial training centre, Centre for English language and Entrepreneurship training centre besides signing investment promotion agreements.

India looks upon Myanmar as a significant destination for cooperation in energy sector, power, transport, and telecommunication under India’’s “Look-East Policy” as Katju described it as a symbol of growing relations with Myanmar.

Though Katju said that the bilateral trade between the two nations is relatively lower than what India shares with its neighbours but this visit would go a long way to have desired trade between the two countries.

On arrival in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmars new capital, the Indian delegation is scheduled to hold talks with the Vice Senior General Maung Aye, the Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

The high-level business delegation comprises officials of the Steel Authority of India, TATA motors, Gas Authority of India Ltd., Bharat Heavy Electric Limited among others.

TATA motors is setting up a truck manufactring unit in Myanmar.

On February 6, the delegation will meet Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman, State Peace and Development Council. Later, in the day, the delegation will attend the inauguration of the Myanmar-India Entrepreneurship Development Center (MIEDC) at the Institute of Economics, Hlaing Campus in Yangon.

Ties between India and its eastern neighbour Myanmar have strengthened in recent years.

In May, last year, the Indian Navy ships were the first to reach relief to Myanmar during the devastating cyclone Nargis. Later. the Indian Air Force also joined relief efforts.

India is also helping Myanmar in building infrastructure and boosting development. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has built the 160 km-long Tamu-Kalewa-Kaylemyo road on the Indo-Myanmar border.

Last year, the two sides inked agreements on bilateral investment protection while New Delhi committed 120 million dollars line of credit for power facilities in Myanmar. (ANI)

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