Govt pushes for greater trade with Myanmar via land
The Dollar Business Bureau
To boost trade with Myanmar, the government is pushing for more trade between the two countries through the shared land boundary, stated Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia.
“Greater trade through land border will positively affect the economy of the country’s North Eastern region, and also enhance people-to-people contact,” Teaotia said on Wednesday while speaking at the launch of a study on ‘Enhancing India-Myanmar Border Trade: Policy and Implementation Measures’ jointly brought out by Ministry of Commerce and RIS.
The study provides an in-depth analysis for increasing trade between India and Myanmar through land borders. It also proposes policy measures to achieve the goal as well as provide a framework of relevant implementation measures.
Teaotia said that India and Myanmar not only share borders but also historical, civilizational and cultural ties. Therefore, it is no surprise that both the countries have conventionally shared significant economic connections and production spaces.
“Myanmar has the distinguished geographical advantage and can serve as a land-bridge between and Southeast Asia and India,” she added.
The Commerce Secretary mentioned that trade between the two countries via land routes has seen a significant move from barter to normal trade and also in eliminating the list of restricted items until recently.
“This effectively shows that now trade via land border between India and Myanmar would take place under the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITGA) and Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP),” she said.
Teaotia also stressed on the need for making trade between the two nations an instrument for attaining development goals in the border areas with employment creation.
The bilateral trade between India and Myanmar reached 1571.95 million in 2014-15, with exports from India accounting to $773.74 million and imports from Myanmar were $1016.86 million. The major exported item is pharmaceuticals, followed by agricultural residues and heavy machinery.
Currently, India provides duty-free trade along 96.4 percent of the overall tariff lines to Myanmar under the DFTP scheme. Myanmar is also a part of the India-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA).