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Kalam calls for increasing volume of trade with Myanmar

Written by: Staff
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Yangon, Mar 10 (UNI) President APJ Abdul Kalam tonight said India looks at Myanmar as a ''key element'' of its "Look East Policy'' and a trusted partner for its vision of a dynamic and vibrant pan-Asian community and asked captains of industry to take necessary steps for increasing the bilateral trade volume up to two billion dollars in the next three years.

''We recognise that India-Myanmar relations have an important bearing on the peace, stability and development of the region and the Asian continent,'' Dr Kalam said in his address to Myanmar's Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry on the concluding day of his three-day visit to the south-east Asian country.

Expressing dismay over the volume of bilateral trade hovering around 470 million dollars in 2004-05, Dr kalam said the countries had to work out a method for increasing this volume to around two billion dollars within next three years.

''To achieve this target, a systematic and synergetic policy needs to be drawn up using the core competence of India and Myanmar,'' he said, adding that India had achieved good standing in the international arena in IT, pharmaceutical and also agro-based industries.

Automobile industry is producing competitive cars and spare parts and India is manufacturing state-of-the-art textile machinery, he observed.

Listing the areas of convergence, he said the two countries were working seriously on the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway which was likely to commence soon. Further, efforts were under way towards development of a hydro-electric power project at Tamanthi which has the potential of generating nearly 1000 MW of power.

''The two countries are also cooperating in the hydrocarbon sector near the Rakhine coast. Another major project is the Kaldan multi-modal transport project that aims to connect Mizoram with Sittwe apart from cooperation in the railway sector.'' Dr Kalam, who wound up his three-day visit to Myanmar today, said the addressable market for global off-shoring exceeds over 300 billion dollars, which is expected to increase to 400 billion dollars within the next three years.

''Presently, we are using only a fraction of this global offshoring business. What is needed is creating awareness among various prospective customers about the win-win solution through the global off-shoring route.

Dr Kalam said India had a mission of transforming itself into a developed nation before 2020. ''India has core competence in agriculture, agriculture products, large number of small and medium scale industries, ICT products, pharma products including traditional medicines.'' He concluded his remarks by saying that India would be happy to be a partner in Myanmar's development of agriculture, manufacturing and services sector.

UNI/SKS SMA PA KN2056

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