NEW DELHI: Faced with challenges in markets like the US and Europe that have been in the grip of a slowdown, Indian engineering exporters have set sights on Myanmar, a mineral-rich nation which also has abundant natural gas reserves.
“While the Westerners are flocking to Myanmar in search of next big thing and investors are scouting for new business potential, Indian businessmen would not like to miss the opportunities in a country which is of strategic interest to us in terms of its location,” engineering exporters body EEPC India Executive Director Bharat Sarkar said.
Myanmar is India’s only land bridge to Southeast Asia and the Indo-Burmese border stretches over 1,600 km.
An EEPC India delegation recently visited Yangon to prepare the engineering exporters to establish their presence in Myanmar and showcase the country’s engineering prowess.
To tap the opportunities in that market, EEPC is organising engineering exporters’ exhibition, ‘Indee’, in Myanmar next month.
At present, India-Myanmar trade is woefully low at just about USD 2 billion against India’s total global trade of over USD 800 billion. Exports to Myanmar are even lower than imports at about USD 500 million, EEPC India said.
“While there are historical reasons, mostly political, for the low bilateral engagement, the improvement in political climate offers a sound base for us to exploit the growing economy in our neighbouring country,” Sarkar said.
India-Myanmar-Thailand Tripartite Highway project which would be extended to Laos and Cambodia with the assistance of the Indian government is likely to enhance the regional connectivity and trade.
Indian engineering exporters are presently shipping items like tractors, rice milling machines, dal polishing equipment, oil mills, auto power transmission and electrical switch-gears to Myanmar.
“There may also be 1-3 paise hike in voice minutes in over nine months,” he added.
Source: The Economic Times