Yangon: Seeking to step up ties with
Myanmar, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna arrived here
on Monday for high level talks with the new civilian leadership in
the fields of security cooperation and energy security.
Krishna, who is the first high-level visitor from
India since the new civilian government took over, was
received by Yagon Region Minister for Foreign Affairs U Nyan
Tun Oo along with Indian Ambassador VS Seshadri and other
The three-day visit will focus on a number of issues
relating to bilateral relations with Myanmar.
Commerce and economic relations will be high on agenda
along with security cooperation.
"The visit will give us the opportunity to further
vitalise our multi-faceted relationship in the new political
environment. We will have an exchange of views on enhancing
security cooperation as well as our collaboration in the
fields of connectivity, IT, energy, agriculture, power
telecommunications and infrastructure," Krishna had said in
Official sources said the visit is an opportunity to
engage with the new civilian government which took over in
March. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is also part of visiting
Krishna is expected to call on the country`s
President, Vice-President and the Speaker besides holding
delegation-level talks with his counterpart U Nyan Win.
India attaches great significance to its ties with Mynamar, given its strategic location in the region and proximity to China. The south-east Asian country is now ruled by a civilian government after several years of military rule.
"Myanmar is the only ASEAN country which shares a land
border with India. Myanmar is a bridge between India and
ASEAN," a source said.
Sources said while security cooperation is an
important aspect of its relationship with Myanmar, focus would
also be on increasing the economy and trade relationships
between the two countries.
Bilateral trade has expanded significantly from USD
12.4 million in 1980-81 to USD 1.2 billion in 2009-10.
The trade turnover had shot up 2009-10, doubling just
in two years. India is the fourth largest trading partner of
Myanmar after Thailand, Singapore and China.
India is also the thirteenth largest investor with an
investment estimated at USD 189 million in five projects.
However China is the biggest investor in Myanmar with
investments totalling to about USD 9.6 billion.
"A lot more can be done on the trade and economy
front. We like to see more border trade happening between the
two countries," a source said.
Indian investment ranges from oil and gas sector to
hydroelectric power, railways, electric power among others.
On the security front, sources said continued
cooperation was beneficial for both the countries and that
there was good cooperation which needs to be deepened.
They expressed satisfaction over the intent and
actions of Myanmar to take on Indian insurgent groups
operating from their soil because of the thick jungles along
Meanwhile, Krishna will visit the legendary Shwedagon
Pagoda as well as the mausoleum of the last Mughal emperor
Bahadur Shah Zafar today.