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Sixth India-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee Meeting Held

Minister for Commerce Than Myint attended and co-chaired the sixth India Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting held on June 27 in New Delhi, India. Matters including trade and investment were discussed during the meeting.

Indian Minister for Commerce and Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman said that the bilateral trade between the countries has a much larger untapped potential. The Minister called for active cooperation from the Myanmar side to enhance road, sea and air connectivity between the two nations to increase bilateral trade, seeking the cooperation of Myanmar to expedite work on their side, according to an official statement.

Myanmar side requested to explore the suggestion of opening of a Counsellor Office in the Indian north-east. Indian side sought the cooperation of Myanmar in extending all assistance to EXIM Bank to facilitate implementation of the projects.

The Indian minister also requested Myanmar and its business community to actively partner in India’s initiatives to strengthen manufacturing capacities.

Ten Prioritised Investment Areas Announced

Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), a government-appointed body to appraise investment proposals in Myanmar, has announced ten areas which will be prioritized for investment by both local and foreign investors, according to official media on June 28. The ten prioritized areas for investment are agriculture, export promotion, import substitution, livestock and fishery, power, logistics, education, health care, affordable housing construction and establishment of industrial estates.

Total foreign investment in Myanmar reached $70.35 billion in 1,246 projects up to March this year since late 1988 while Myanmar citizens’ domestic investment hit $9.69 billion as of the same date, according to data released from the Central Statistics Organisation. Myanmar enacted a new Myanmar Investment Law in October 2016, merging the pre-existing Myanmar Citizens Investment Law passed in 2013 and Foreign Investment Law approved in 2012 in order to provide easier access to business activities in the country.

Myanmar Renews Development Aid Agreement with World Bank Group

Myanmar has extended a partnership agreement for development aid with the World Bank Group for two more years, ensuring up to $1.2 billion aid along with technical assistance and advisory services for the country from the International Development Association (IDA), a financing subsidiary of the World Bank Group. The Country Partnership Framework (CPF) agreement started in 2015 and has benefited some 5.4 million people in Myanmar in terms of better schools, roads and other infrastructure. Stipends under the agreement have helped 150,000 more students to attend school.

The agreement has helped the country achieve key development priorities, such as rural development and fostering human capital through efforts to improve nutrition, infrastructural development and creation of jobs, said Kyaw Win, Minister for Planning and Finance.

In April, the World Bank approved $200 million loan to Myanmar to assist the country in maintaining a stable economy for growth and poverty reduction.