India-Myanmar shares a long land boundary of over 1643 km with Myanmar as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four northeastern states, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram, have a territorial boundary with Myanmar. India shares linguistic, religious, and ethnic ties with Myanmar. It is the only ASEAN country adjoining India and, therefore, the only territorial gateway to South East Asia. India is seeking to enhance its cooperation with Myanmar in line with our ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies.
India-Myanmar shares close cultural ties and a sense of deep kinship, given India’s Buddhist heritage. Building on this shared heritage, India is undertaking several key initiatives in the restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan and the repair and conservation of a large number of damaged pagodas in Myanmar. India has also completed work on restoring and renovating two historic temples in Bodh Gaya.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and 9th East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014. Prime Minister Modi also visited Myanmar in 2017, when 12 MoUs in various sectors on strengthening our bilateral cooperation was signed. State Counselor of Myanmar Daw Aung San Suu Kyi undertook a State Visit to India in October 2016 after participating in the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit at Goa. She also visited India for the 25th India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in January 2018 and held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister. Hon’ble President visited Myanmar in December 2018 and had signed two MoUs, one on S&T cooperation and the other on Judicial Training.
President of Myanmar, U Win Myint visited India as a guest for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narender Modi in May 2019. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had a telephonic conversation on 30 April 2020 on the evolving COVID19 scenario.
India’s development assistance portfolio in Myanmar is now over the US $1.75 billion where the bulk of this assistance is grant-funded. The projects under India’s assistance are Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project; the Trilateral Highway Project, which is an East-West corridor connecting our Northeast with Myanmar and Thailand; assistance in setting up institutions for higher learning and research, India-Myanmar Industrial Training Centres; capacity assistance in public the Rakhine State Development Programme, restoration, and conservation of Ananda Temple (Bagan) and the repair and conservation of 92 earthquakes damaged pagodas and reconstruction of Yamethin Women Police Training Centre, etc. India has committed to the US $ 25 million of assistance to Rakhine State Development Program over 5 years. The first phase was the completion of 250 prefabricated houses in Rakhine state, which was handed over to the Government of Myanmar on 9 July 2019. India handed over 20,000 bags of relief material to Myanmar’s Rakhine state on 22 January 2020.
Since 1970, bilateral trade between India-Myanmar has grown steadily, albeit with a slight decline in the 1980s. Bilateral trade has witnessed a 7.53% growth in 2018-19 and current trade figures stand at the US $ 1.7 Billion, while India’s imports declined by 18.47%. As of now, India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar. India currently has a JWG on Oil and Natural Gas, JSC & JWG on Power cooperation, and JWG on Renewable Energy.
1st JWG on Heath Cooperation was held in April 2019. Govt. of India has donated 10,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccines to Govt. of Myanmar in September 2019. India is also considering to donate the Bhabhatron-II machine to Myanmar. 14 Indian Public Sector Undertakings have a presence in Myanmar in different sectors. Exports of pharmaceuticals, which enjoy a good reputation in Myanmar, have grown from about US$ 50 million in 2010 to US$ 199.67 Million in 2018-19 which is about 40% of market share in Myanmar.
Daily flights between Yangon and Kolkata since September 2019 has improved the connectivity between India-Myanmar . Both countries are also working to enhance connectivity between North-Eastern India and Mandalay through air and road. In August 2018, two international entry/ exit points were inaugurated at Tamu-Moreh and Rih-Zowkhawthar. However, operations these two land border points are underway.
India has responded promptly and effectively in rendering assistance following natural calamities in Myanmar like Cyclone Mora (2017), Komen (2015), earthquake in Shan State (2010), Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and the outbreak of the influenza virus in Yangon in July-August 2017. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, India handed over medical equipment, medicines, and other supplies worth USD 900,000 to Myanmar on 6 May 2020.
- Rising insurgency at India China border.
- Increasing Chinese involvement in Myanmar
- Rohingya crisis
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