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State Counsellor Meets with Indian President

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with President of India Ram Nath Kovind at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on January 26 during her visit to attend the 25th ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. The summit, held from January 25 to 26, marked the 25-years relations between ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) and India.

The two leaders discussed a wide range of matters that covered increasing bilateral cooperation, people-to-people contact of the two neighbours, implementation of road infrastructure projects that link the two countries, deeper cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, energy, transport, human resources and culture, and India’s assistance in the development of Rakhine state

Prior to the meeting with Indian President, the State Counsellor met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the celebration of the 69th Republic Day of India in New Delhi, and participated in the 25th ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit together with other ASEAN leaders. In her meeting with Indian President, Aung San Suu Kyi also explained about the peace process and national reconciliation process in Myanmar, and invited the President to visit Myanmar.

India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Expected to be Functional by December 2019

The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, intended to boost trade and relations through improved land connectivity between India and South-east Asia, is envisaged to be in operation by December next year, said Nitin Gadkari, Indian Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources. The highway, which is an offshoot of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, has been under construction to link Indian north-eastern border town of Moreh with Maesot in western Thailand via north-western Myanmar border town of Tamu, passing through Mandalay, the largest city and commercial hub in central Myanmar. The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway aims to enhance trade relations in the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA), a free trade area agreed in 2009 for improved trade between India and ASEAN countries. India has proposed the extension of the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. “Next year by the end of December, we will be in a position to get connectivity. We are giving highest priority to this (Indian-Myanmar-Trilateral Highway) project. This will boost trade and ties among the nations in the region,” said Nitin Gadkari.

He continued that India has proposed $1 billion line of credit to promote sea, air and road connectivity projects with ASEAN countries besides setting up a project development fund of $77 million to develop manufacturing hubs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum Held

A conference entitled ‘Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum’ was held at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on January 17 to talk on the sustainable development of ethnic nationals.

The event was spearheaded by Vice President Henry Van Thio, who in his opening speech said that the conference was of vital importance, since it is a chance to learn and share the views and experiences of ethnic nationals, many of whom have limited economic options.

The forum was attended by senior officials from the Union Government, Region and State ministers including those for ethnic affairs, chairs and members of the leading committees of Self-Administered Zones and members of the committees for Hluttaw (parliament) affairs, representatives and experts from the literature and culture organisations, business entrepreneurs, representatives from international development partners and other guests. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi also sent a message to the forum, saying that the government is striving hand in hand with the ethnic brethren for bringing national reconciliation and eternal peace back to the Union.