Vice President U Myint Swe and President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 5th Enterprise India Show at the Lotte Hotel in Yangon yesterday.
The Show will be held from 13 to 15 December and is jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry with support from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry together with Myanmar-based India-Myanmar Confederation of Commerce/Industry and the Indian Embassy in Myanmar.
Attending the opening ceremony were Union Ministers Dr. Aung Thu, Dr. Than Myint, Dr. Myo Thein Gyi, and U Soe Win, Yangon Region cabinet members, Myanmar Ambassador to India U Moe Kyaw Aung, Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. Vikram Misri, officials from the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar-based India-Myanmar Confederation of Commerce/Industry, and the Indian Embassy in Myanmar, and invited guests.
First, Ambassador Mr. Vikram Misri delivered the opening speech, followed by Vice President U Myint Swe.
In his address, the Vice President said there was no doubt that this event would provide immense opportunities for the business community to do business in Myanmar. He expressed his hope that the participation of investors and business people from both India and Myanmar would facilitate a deeper understanding, leading to enhancement of business networking. It would further accelerate the trade relations, promote more investments and create business-to-business engagement between Myanmar and India, he said.
He said both Myanmar and India share many affinities in culture, religion and tradition and added that based on these values, we have established strong people to people ties and enjoyed a longstanding and enduring friendship.
He continued, “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1948, our cooperation has made significant achievements. We have been cooperating in the areas of trade and investment, transport and communications, energy, technology, tourism, agriculture, fisheries as well as in the context of regional cooperation such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation–(BIMSTEC) and South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation, among others.”
“As of September 2018, bilateral trade relations between Myanmar and India accounted for US$800.431 million. The main export commodities from Myanmar are pulses, plywood and veneer, timber, base metal and fish while the import items from India are pharmaceutical products, iron and steel construction materials, transport equipment, mineral fuel and oil and machinery and mechanical appliances.”
“Sharing a long land border of over 1600 km, border trade between our two countries has reached US$93.452 million as of September 2018. Agro-based products such as beans and pulses and betel nuts are the main export commodities of Myanmar in border trade with India.”
“India stands at the 11th position among 49 countries, investing in Myanmar. A total of 30 investment projects with the total pledge amounting to US$763.567 million are permitted as of September 2018. A total of 225 Indian companies have been registered and doing business in Myanmar by the end of June 2018.”
The Vice President continued, “I appreciate the enthusiastic participation of the Indian companies through showcasing their products and services and exploring business opportunities. I understand that this 5th Enterprise India Show focuses on nine sectors namely agriculture and farm equipment, automobiles, auto components and transportation, HVAC/ construction equipment, machinery and building materials, skill development, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, education, energy, electricity and water, service enterprises. It is also encouraging that more than 70 exhibitors and over 30 business delegations are taking part in this event.”
“We note with satisfaction that business interactions between India and Myanmar have been growing steadily over the years. A large number of Indian companies and experts are engaged in various sectors, including oil and gas, infrastructural projects, IT, education, banking and trading etc. Consequently, India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar.”
“I am confident that transport infrastructure projects such as the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project connecting North Western Regions of Myanmar and North Eastern Regions of India, and India-Myanmar-Thai Trilateral Highway will serve as a connectivity gateway not only between our two countries but between South and Southeast Asia as well.”
“With the aim to foster sustainable development in Myanmar, we have laid down economic framework to support the long-term conservation and fair allocation of natural resources among the Regions and States, leading to national reconciliation through inclusive and people-centered approach.”
“To create a more attractive, investor-friendly-environment in Myanmar, a series of reforms have been undertaken. The most significant one is enactment of Myanmar Investment Law on 18th October 2016. Moreover, Myanmar Companies Law has also been enacted with a view to facilitating company registration, reducing regulations for setting up of small companies, creating a favourable environment and improving practical compliance with rules and regulations.”
“According to the new company law, we have introduced an electronic registration since 1st August 2018. All companies can now register or reregister online by using Myanmar Companies Online (MyCo).”
“Most importantly, we have developed the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), a comprehensive economic, environment and social reform agenda, in line with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. We believe that the MSDP will serve as a roadmap for our long-term development vision.”
“Each goal of MSDP has its own vision and mission. The first goal emphasizes on peace and national reconciliation while the second one focuses on economic management, the third on job creation, the fourth on human capacity and social development, and the fifth on natural resources management and environmental protection. Indeed, these goals are interrelated,” said the Vice President. He continued, “Among them, the third goal of MSDP explicitly envisions a secure, accessible and conducive investment and business environment.”
“We warmly welcome the business community from India to invest in Myanmar. Our government has given special emphasis on fulfilment of the basic needs of our people, particularly in good transportation, electrification, development of smart cities and improvement of healthcare and education system.”
“It is also important that the rights of stakeholders, including employees through the creation of fair and favourable working conditions are also prioritized as part of responsible investment approach. Our long-lasting friendship and mutual beneficial cooperation with India will benefit us to ensure responsible investment in Myanmar.”
The Vice President concluded with the message, “Last but not the least, I wish to encourage all of you to explore new business opportunities in Myanmar, enhance better understanding on the development in our country. We look forward to work together with you for mutual beneficial cooperation.”
Next, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind of India delivered a speech saying, “I am delighted to be here to inaugurate the Fifth Enterprise India Show in Yangon. My participation in this event and the presence of a high-level business delegation from India underlines the importance we attach to our economic relations with Myanmar. We have leading Myanmar businesses and over 50 Indian companies, from globally reputed majors enterprises to SMEs engaged in cutting-edge manufacturing, participating in this event. I commend the efforts of the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce to host this Show and to draw an impressive participation.”
“We need to complement our on-going efforts, and urgently so, with a Motor Vehicles Agreement. This will open new possibilities for progress and prosperity for people living along the border, for Myanmar to source goods and services more efficiently and economically, and for us to exchange eco-friendly products made from bamboo, water hyacinth and other natural vegetation. I am happy that during my visit the Myanmar government has decided to extend visa-on-arrival-facility to Indian tourists arriving at Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay airports. This would give a major boost to our people-to-people exchanges and business ties.”
“I am glad that Myanmar is already reforming its policies to attract business and capital. The creation of a separate Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations is a welcome step. I hope it will be able to increase the attractiveness of Myanmar as an investment destination. In the space of the last four years, India has risen 65 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. We would be happy to share our experience in this regard with Myanmar.”
“Myanmar has a unique place in our “Neighbourhood First” and “Act East” policies. We will continue to work together to increase our economic engagement that befits our close relations. And in doing so, we count on the energy, ideas and enterprise of our Industry and our business stakeholders.”
Afterwards, Mr. Shreekant Somany, Chairman of CII National MSME Council, delivered a speech expressing gratitude.
Next, Vice President U Myint Swe and the Indian President cut ceremonial ribbons and formally opened the Enterprise India Show. They then toured the exhibition booths at the Show.