Wed 28 Feb 2007
Filed under: Business / Trade,News
A 34-member trade delegation from Burma, including officials of its union, has begun a tour of Indian states. They arrived in Imphal, capital of the Indian state of Manipur bordering Burma on Wednesday morning.
The Burmese traders and officials are slated to visit Guwahati, the capital of Assam state and Aizawl capital of Mizoram in India’s north east region. Before their trip to these towns, the team will visit important historical sites in Manipur.
“We’ll be visiting the historic Ima keithel (women’s market), two war cemeteries and the historic Kangla fort,” T R Sharma, an official of the Indo-Myanmar Traders’ Union said. The Myanmar trade delegation is led by three senior officials U Aung Min, Director Livestock Breeding, U Tha Ta Ra, Deputy General Manager, Myanmar Economic Bank and U Thaung Kyaw, and Deputy Director Border Trade. On their 10-day visit they are to interact with people of the region, and witness cultural activities. They will visit important historical places on February 28.
Following an interactive session with Indian officials, traders and other social activists in Imphal on March 1, the visiting team will take a flight to Guwahati to for an idea of trading activities in the region the following day.
The team is to leave India on March 7 through Champhai in Mizoram. The Burmese team also includes 16 members of the Saigaing Division Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
“We’re also trying to organize cultural programmes for our visitors,” W Nabachandra, President of the Indian traders union said. “We need to improve bilateral relationship through our culture as well as other traditional activities for the overall improvement of business and trade.”
The Indo-Burma border trade was signed in 1994 but it was made operational from April 12, 1995. Since then the volume of trade between Northeast India and Burma has not been encouraging.
“To arrest the declining trend in trade, I think the Myanmar Government has taken necessary measures to disseminate information so that our traders in the region can explore the market,” a local trader Surjit said.
The military government in Burma therefore may have sent the delegation for direct interaction with Northeast India traders in order to cement bilateral trade ties, he added. It may be worth mentioning here that Indian traders had three rounds of meetings with their Burmese counterparts for the proposed visit of the Burmese delegation.