India-Myanmar upgrade trade

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) Upgrading their trade relationship, India and Myanmar have agreed to convert their border trade to normal trade, permitting trade in most goods at MFN (most favoured nation) rates.

After a two-day meeting of India-Myanmar joint trade committee in Mandalay yesterday, the two neighbouring countries also decided to open a new point for border trade, expand list of items for barter trade to 40 and operationalise new banking arrangement for trade, Commerce and Industry Ministry said in statement released here today.

Currently, the two nations conduct border trade at Moreh-Tamu and Zokhawthar-Rhi and the second point for such trade will be at Avakhung (Nagaland-India)and Leshi (Myanmar), the agreement, reached between Myanmar Minister for Commerce Brigadier General Tin Naing Thein and India's Minister for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, said.

Myanmar has also decided to submit Letter of Intent to join India's duty free tariff preference scheme under which India would provide unilateral tariff concessions to Myanmar on 94 per cent of tariff lines covering 99.6 per cent of the trade, the Commerce Ministry said.

The Ministers also reviewed bilateral cooperation in gas and petroleum, power, information technology, telecommunication and agriculture sectors.

Bilateral trade between the two nations neared one billion dollar in 2007-08 with India's exports reachinng USD 185.28 million and imports USD 809.55 million.

Meanwhile, Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein and Mr Jairam Ramesh today inaugurated India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT Skills in Yangon. Set up by Pune-based Centre for Advancement of Computing (C-DAC), it will be connected to ten regional centres and train nearly 1,000 IT professionals every year in the neighbouring coutnry, formerly known as Burma.

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