Mumbai: Myanmar offers great opportunities for Indian business community to invest in infrastructure and power projects, visiting Myanmar President Thein Sein said here on Friday.
In a closed-door session, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) late on Friday, President Sein invited Indian businesses to also explore options in agriculture.
"The India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project, which will be extended to Laos and Cambodia with the assistance of the Indian government, will truly enhance regional connectivity and trade," Sein said.
He urged the captains of Indian industry to invest in Myanmar's energy sector and pointed out the huge deposits of oil and gas in the south Asian country. Reciprocating Sein's call, CII president Adi Godrej proposed a five-point agenda to strengthen India-Myanmar business relations.
"I propose enhancing connectivity in culture and commerce between the two countries; promoting integration and synergy in power and railway sectors; appropriate banking arrangements to foster trade and investment; enhancing bilateral engagement in trade protection, co-operation and collaboration in industries like tourism and software; and inviting managers from Myanmar to Indian industry's centres of excellence," Godrej said.
The Myanmar-India trade has been steadily increasing. India stands as the fourth-largest trading partner with Myanmar with a trade volume of $1347.40 in 2011-12, according to CII.
In 2011-12, Myanmar's exports to India were $1,046 million, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. In the same period, Indian exports to Myanmar stood at$324.5 million, an increase of 66.5 percent over the previous year.
Myanmar exports agriculture and forest products to India and imports metal ores and products, medicines, transport equipment, machines and machinery parts and electrical appliances.
Myanmar has introduced tax reforms and took initiatives to make its banking system more customer-friendly. Among those present at the meeting included S. Ramadorai, advisor to Prime Minister on skill development and vice-chairman of Tata Consultancy Services; B. Muthuraman, vice-chairman of Tata Steel; Arun Nanda, director of Mahindra & Mahindra; Ravi Kant, vice-chairman of Tata Motors; and Ganesh Natarajan, chief executive officer of Zensar Technologies.