In an attempt to foster trade and commerce, specifically between Myanmar and North East India states, a business conclave was initiated by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and hosted by Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (UMFCCI) from September 13-15 at various venues in Myanmar.
About 30 delegates from North Eastern states on India attended the conclave, led by ICC officials and Rajya Sabha MP, Mani Shankar Aiyar, according to Tsukti Longkumer, one of the delegates from Nagaland.
Four delegates from Nagaland also attended the conclave, including IPR Commissioner & Secretary MK Mero, Tsukti Longkumer, Ababe Ezung and Chandu Agarwal
It was learnt that the delegates on their arrival in Rangoon called on Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, Dr. VS Seshadri and later attended an ‘Interactive Seminar’ at UMFCCI Towers followed by an ‘Investor Networking’ program.
UMFCCI presented a paper on “Imagine business opportunities in trade and commerce between NE India and Myanmar.” Several UMFCCI officials led by their president as well as a good number of business people from Myanmar attended the seminar, according to MK Mero.
Mero informed over phone that Indian delegates were taken for industrial visits after the seminar. The following day, the delegates visited Myanmar’s new capital NPT where Myanmar’s ministers for Commerce, Forest, Agriculture and Industries also attended the conclave there.
On the September 15 at Sedona Hotel in Mandalay, a seminar on “Strengthening Border Trade between India and Myanmar – Way Forward” was held at Sedona Hotel, in Mandalay. A panel discussion was held during the seminar, where each NE Indian states were allotted 5 minutes each to share their “plan to strengthen border trade” and to “identify the bottlenecks in trade and commerce between NE India and Myanmar and also sectors in which the region can look for joint ventures.”
When asked what the immediate benefit would be for Nagaland as a result of the conclave, MK Mero stated since there was lack of proper infrastructure like road connectivity at the border areas, Nagaland’s immediate benefit would not be much. Otherwise, Mero said, Myanmar has surplus production of agricultural produces like rice and soya which could be imported into the state.
It was also learnt that a high official from Myanmar was likely to visit the state during the Hornbill Festival to inaugurate an ‘International Trade Centre’.