India’s junior commerce and industry minister CR Chaudhary Thursday reiterated India’s commitment to the Look East and Act East policy. He was speaking at second edition of Myanmar-India Business Conclave in Yangon.
According to Chaudhury, Myanmar is the gateway for south-east Asia from India’s perspective and India accords the highest priority to deepen trade and investment relations with the country through regional value chains and integration.
He said area of collaboration can include sectors like agriculture and agro-processing, power and infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, health services, education and skill development, ICT and IT related services. As part of Act East policy, the Government of India is establishing project development fund to identify the feasibility of investments in sectors like super specialty health services in the CLMV countries.
Myanmar’s deputy commerce minister U Aung Htoo said the NLD government is committed to the economic and trade reforms initiated in the country in 2011. The government’s 12 point economic policy identifies the role of export-led growth, private sector development, employment creation and poverty reduction as the focus.
“There have been several steps taken during last two years to improve the investment climate in the country. Predictable and conducive economic environment – has been the focus of the Government,” Htoo said.
Investors can benefit from incentives and tax holidays, SEZ facilities and LDC benefits for exports in Myanmar, he added.
A high proportion of young people, emerging middle class, IT penetration are significant for Myanmar which can be harnessed by the private investors.
Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Vikram Misri pointed out that for Indian investors this is the right time to invest in Myanmar. “Opportunity in Myanmar is everywhere,” Misri said in his introductory speech.
“The country is in transition, and it gives an opportunity for private sector to explore the partnerships with the local businesses. The government of India accords significant value to the relationship with Myanmar as part of its Act East policy. The collaboration of the government in improving connectivity is significant, and investments are made in hard as well as soft infrastructure regarding transport connectivity as well as human resource development in the country,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, vice president of UMFCCI Dr Maung Maung Lay said as an apex body of private sector it is committed to play a facilitative role in forging partnerships between India and Myanmar businesses. Given the strategic position of Myanmar as an entry for India to ASEAN and GMS region, it is important that India participate in the transformation of Myanmar.
Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry – International Council Naushad Forbes laid out plans of CII to collaborate with Myanmar business and investment community. They include vocational and management training institute as the centre of excellence, entrepreneurship training and setting up of CII office in Yangon.
The conclave brought together Myanmar business leaders and a high-level delegation of 23 Indian CEOs who are on a visit to Myanmar to exchange views and build partnerships with Myanmar counterparts.