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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 22.01.2015

HE Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, the Vice President of Myanmar called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (January 21, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Interacting with Dr. Kham, the President said India attaches importance to its relations with Myanmar. India and Myanmar share a common heritage of religious, linguistic and ethnic linkages. As Myanmar is the only ASEAN country bordering India, it is the gateway of India to South East Asia – a region with which India seeking greater economic integration.

The President said bilateral relations between the two countries have seen accelerated growth and expansion over the years. India intends to enhance the cooperation between India and Myanmar. India is committed to building a peaceful, stable and economically interlinked neighbourhood as it is essential for the collective development and prosperity of the region. India welcomes the greater role that Myanmar is playing in the region and at other international forums. He congratulated Government of Myanmar for successful chairmanship of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

The President said India has always believed that its development cannot be complete and sustainable unless it builds productive partnerships with its immediate neighbours. India is committed to extend support of US$ 5 million annually for five years under the MoU on Border Area Development. It has already released a sum of US$ 4.5 million to Myanmar. The President said efforts are being made to expedite completion of all bilateral developmental projects including Kaladan Project and connectivity projects.

The President said India-Myanmar bilateral trade is growing and India is today, Myanmar’s fourth largest trading partner with the balance of trade greatly in favour of Myanmar. Yet, this trade is far below potential and does not reflect the closeness of ties. Indian companies are keen to bring their expertise and resources to Myanmar in promising sectors such as energy, power, construction, banking, insurance etc.

The President welcomed the historic reforms undertaken by the Government of Myanmar for democratization, negotiation of a nation-wide cease fire with armed ethnic groups, economic development and establishment of peace and stability. He congratulated the Government of Myanmar for taking forward the peace and national reconciliation process in an inclusive manner to meet the aspirations of all ethnic nationalities. He also conveyed his good wishes and support of Government of India for the successful conclusion of nationwide ceasefire and working towards establishment of peace and stability in the ethnic states.

Responding to the President, the Myanmar Vice President said that he has been wanting to visit India for long. He said the two countries have enjoyed cordial relations throughout history and supported each other during their struggle for freedom. The Myanmar Government was grateful to India for the assistance provided in various fields, especially in capacity building, health care and lines of credit for various projects across the country. He requested the President to encourage the Indian business community to explore various opportunities in Myanmar.

This release issued at 1125 hrs.