Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar’
Yangon, Aug 16 (IANS) The Myanmar government has exempted commercial tax for exporters for six months to encourage export, Xinhua reported Monday.
The exemption will be effective from Aug 15, 2011 to Feb 14, 2012. The export items covered by the exemption are rice, beans pulses, maize, sesame, rubber, animal and animal by-products, and marine items, according to a government order.
The announcement comes after the depreciation of the US dollar that caused losses to exporters.
Myanmar’s foreign trade rose to $15 billion in the fiscal 2010-11 from $11.8 billion in 2009-10, official figures show.
Despite the rise of foreign trade, the country’s agricultural export dropped year on year to 900,000 tonnes in 2010-11 from 1.3 million tonnes in 2009-10.
Myanmar’s rice export fell sharply to 500,000 tonnes in 2010-11 from 900,000 tonnes in 2009-10.
The decline was partly attributed to the depreciation of the US dollar since the middle of 2010, which has also slashed exporters’ earnings.
Yangon, June 22 (IANS) India Wednesday wrapped up its first high-level engagement with Myanmar’s new civilian government after signing a slew of bilateral agreements focusing on capacity building, even as a top official met the country’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who was in Myanmar on a three-day visit from Monday, met top figures in the three-month-old civilian government to explore possibilities of exhanced business and security ties between the two countries.
China, which has well-entrenched economic and bilateral ties with Myanmar, had taken the lead in engaging the civilian government when President Thein Sein went to Beijing on his first state visit in May.
Utlising well the opportunity provided by Krishna’s visit, India signed agreements to build an 80-km road between Mizoram and Chin states for $60-million, set up a vocational skills centre for Myanmar’s youth, provide $10 million aid for buying agricultural implements and to set up a research centre in the sector, apart from a promise to deploy the Archaeological Survey of India to renovate a 12th century Hindu temple in Bagan division of Mandalay.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who accompanied Krishna, took time off the busy bilateral meetings with the political leaders to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and leader of the new disbanded National League for Democracy, when they discussed India’s aid to Myanmar’s development.
Suu Kyi had been freed from 18-month house arrest by the erstwhile military junta soon after the first general elections in 20 years.
Krishna, on his part, met his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin for detailed discussions on the bilateral relations in the fields of trade, investments, power, energy and security, apart from calling on President Thein Sein and First Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo.
During the call on the Myanmar president, Krishna expressed India’s appreciation and support for its neighbour’s efforts at democracy, apart from extending an invitation to him from Indian President Pratibha Patil to visit New Delhi.
Krishna also met the speakers of the Myanmar parliament’s 425-member National Assembly and 234-member People’s Assembly, Khin Aung Myint and Shwe Mann, where the two sides agreed to initiate exchanges between the parliamentarians of the two countries.
At his first stop during the tour in Yangon, Krishna had prayed at the popular Buddhist Shwedagon pagoda and paid homage at the tomb of Bahadur Shah Zafar, India’s last Mughal emperor exiled to then Burma after 1857 uprising was crushed by the British Raaj.
Nay Pyi Taw, June 22 (IANS) To bolster border trade, India and Myanmar Wednesday signed an agreement to construct an 80-km road connecting the Mizoram and Chin states on either side of their frontier.
The $60 million Rhi-Tiddim project will be implemented by Indian public sector infrastructure company Ircon and is slated to be completed by December 2014. Ircon will also continue to maintain the road beyond 2014 along with Myanmar’s public works department.
The agreement was signed by the two sides in the presence of India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Myanmar’s construction minister here, Indian officials said.
‘The road will connect Rhi in Mizoram with Tiddim in Chin. The project will help bolster trade at the Rhi-Zowkhatahar border trading point between India and Myanmar. This is the second such road project after the Tamu-Kalemyo-Kalewa road,’ the officials said.
The 161-km Tamu-Kalemyo-Kalewa road was completed in January 2001 and since then, India had maintained the road till 2009, when it was handed over to Myanmar.
The two roads are part of bilateral border roads development initiative that began with a memorandum of understanding signed in 1997.
‘The work on the last 28-km stretch of from Kyigone to Kalewa will be completed by April 2012,’ the officials said.
Yangon, June 22 (IANS) India made its first high-level contact with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao called on her at her residence here.
On the very first day of a three-day trip to Myanmar that ended Wednesday, Rao called on the Nobel laureate and leader of the now disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD), officials said.
The nearly hour-long meeting was kept under wraps until the Indian delegation’s visit to Myanmar concluded. Rao and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna also met the former military leadership.
Although India’s ambassador to Myanmar met Suu Kyi in December after she was freed from house arrest following the 2010 elections, Rao’s discussion marked the highest-level contact with the New Delhi-educated leader.
Informed sources said that Rao and Suu Kyi discussed New Delhi’s ‘greater participation’ in Myanmar’s development works.
‘The foreign secretary took the opportunity to make a courtesy call on Suu Kyi at her residence. The two spoke about India’s relations with Myanmar,’ an official said.
‘Suu Kyi was apprised of the development assistance India is extending to Myanmar in various fields.’
Suu Kyi has been under house arrest on and off for about 15 of the last 21 years. Her last detention lasted 18 months.
Her party NLD stood disbanded in May 2010 after failing to register with the Myanmar election authorities. Subsequently, the NLD refused to take part in the November 2010 elections.
‘Suu Kyi also spoke about cooperation of India and Myanmar in a number of areas. Both Suu Kyi and (Rao) underlined the historical and traditional ties between our two countries,’ the official said.
‘Suu Kyi expressed her desire to see this relation grow.’
The democracy leader recalled her days in India and her Indian friends. She sought more people-to-people contacts in the fields of religion, linguistics and other cultural areas.
Nay Pyi Taw, June 21 (IANS) India’s bid for an alternative trade transit route to its northeastern states took a giant leap forward with Myanmar Tuesday agreeing to a proposal to realign a strategically important multi-modal transport project through the Kaladan river in the Bay of Bengal.
The project envisages linking India’s eastern ports, particularly those in West Bengal, through the sea route to Myanmar’s newly-developing Sittwe port along River Kaladan’s mouth in Bay of Bengal and from there, building a land route through Myanmar to India’s northeast.
The project, which is likely to be completed by end of 2013, will ease out the trade traffic through the Siliguri corridor in West Bengal to the seven sisters of northeast India.
‘The realignment had to be made as the jetty at Sittwe had to be taken a bit upstream due to the low draught in its present location. This change will increase the lengthh of the road by another 62 km, thereby increasing the total legth of the road to 129 km,’ Indian officials accompanying External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on his three-day
visit to Myanmar said here.
Krishna, who arrived in Yangon Monday, held extensive talks with his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin in the Myanmarese capital Tuesday, when the Kaladan project came up for a review, they said.
‘The identification and acquisition of land for the jetty will now begin. We are trying to have an all-weather port and jetty,’ the officials said.
India has already begun the work on the project with the dredging of the Kaladan river being carried out by India’s private Essar Group.
Indian public sector company Ircon will now take up the construction of the road, but will first present a detailed project report after identifying the land for the jetty, the officials said.
‘Further progress will take place once the Myanmarese government approves some of the project details,’ they added.
The entire project will be funded by India, with Myanmar providing the land for the jetty and road free of cost, they added.
Nay Pyi Taw/Yangon, June 21 (IANS) India made its first official contact with the new civilian government in Myanmar Tuesday with visiting External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna pledging $10-million to enable capacity-building in agriculture and dedicating 10 disaster-proof rice silos to ensure people have enough to eat during cyclones and floods.
India’s bid for an alternative trade transit route to its northeastern states also took a giant leap forward with Myanmar agreeing to a proposal to realign a strategically important multi-modal transport project through the Kaladan river’s mouth in the Bay of Bengal.
The $10-million aid will enable Myanmar enhance the capacity of its farmers by buying agricultural implements from India.
Krishna made the promise of funds on the penultimate day of his three-day visit when he met his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin in Myanmarese capital Nay Pyi Taw, officials in the Indian delegation said.
The two sides also decided that India will set up an agriculture research centre in Ye Zin, close to the country’s capital.
The research centre will come up after agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, regarded as the mentor of India’s Green Revolution and presently a member of the Indian prime minister’s committee on food security, carries out a detailed study of the project.
Agriculture contributes about 43 percent of Myanmar’s GDP.
Earlier in Yangon, Krishna inaugurated in the presence of Myanmarese Commerce Minister Win Myint, the 5,000 tonnage storage capacity silos India funded with a $2-million grant. The silos are capable of withstanding wind speeds of 150 km per hour and are earthquake-resistant. For flood prevention, the silos are built on plinths two metres from the ground.
The need for the silos was felt by Myanmar after the devastating 2008 Nargis cyclone hit the Myanmar coast, rendering several thousands homeless and without food for weeks.
‘One of the lessons learnt from the catastrophe was the need to have strong and weather-proof rice warehouses located at strategic positions in cyclone prone areas to enable speedy distribution of foodgrain in times of need,’ Krishna said in his address at the event.
Of the 10 silos constructed in a year ending February, four are in Yangon region and seven in Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) region.
And, in a major boost to cultural and historic ties with Myanmar, Krishna offered to renovate and restore a 12th century temple in the ancient city of Bagan in the Mandalay region, which the Myanmarese government accepted, officials in the Indian delegation said.
Krishna also agreed to India granting 100 computers to Myanmar’s land records department for training its personnel and digitalise record-keeping in the department. For this, a computer training centre will soon come up in Myanmar.
On Monday evening, Krishna visited a 2,600-year-old Shwedagon pagoda, a Buddhist pilgrimage centre in Yangon.
He later paid homage to India’s last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who died in Yangon in 1862 at the age of 87 after being exiled from Delhi.
Because of its strategic location as a bridge to the ASEAN region, India attaches great significance to ties with Myanmar and has welcomed the formation of the civilian government here. China has a strong presence here and recently rolled out the red carpet for Myanamar President Thein Sein and offered loans and credits worth more than $765 million.
Since India cannot match China’s economic diplomacy, it engages in public diplomacy with capacity-building and skill development that connects with the common Myanmarese. India is also talking about better connectivity with the northeast to encourage cross-border trade and better security cooperation against cross-border insurgents.
Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), June 21 (IANS) In a major boost to its cultural and historic ties with Myanmar, India Tuesday agreed to renovate and restore a 12th century temple in the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar’s Mandalay region.
Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who is here on a three-day trip ending Wednesday, made the offer to the three-month-old Myanmarese civilian government, which accepted it, a source in his delegation said here.
The Ananda Pahto, which dominates Bagan’s skyline with a 51-metre temple tower, is one of the oldest of temples in Myanmar. Bagan is about 200 km away from Myanmar’s second largest city, Mandalay.
‘The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will be lending its services to restore and renovate the Ananda temple in Bagan,’ the source said.
The Ananda Pahto, along with the mighty mid-12th century temple Thatbyinnyu Pahto with 61-metre high tower, dwarf all other modern construction in Bagan including the archaeological museum there.
Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), June 21 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday arrived in this Myanmar capital for the first high-level interaction between the two countries since a civilian government took charge in March.
Accompanied by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, he flew in by a special aircraft from Yangon, the erstwhile capital from where the government shifted base in 2005. Krishna is on a three-day visit that ends Wednesday.
He will hold delegation level talks with his Myanmarese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin, when the two sides will review pending infrastructure-related joint projects.
These includeing the Kaladan multi-modal transport system that will link India and Myanmar through a sea-river-land route, easing access to the border regions of the two countries.
The two sides will also sign agreements on developing a second industrial park in Myanmar with India’s help. Krishna will also give 100 computers to Myanmar to digitalise the country’s land records department.
Krishna will meet Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo, when the two sides will discuss the security situation in the region and the means to enhance their strategic relations, Indian officials said.
On Wednesay, Krishna will meet President Thein Sein before returning to New Delhi.
The new civilian government was voted into office in the November, marking the transfer of power from the military junta headed by Senior General Than Shwe.