India- Myanmar Joint Statement during the visit of the President of Myanmar to India (29 August 2016)
August 29, 2016
- At the invitation of H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of the Republic of India, H.E.U Htin Kyaw, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid a State visit to India from 27-30 August, 2016. He was accompanied by his wife Daw Su Su Lwin. Apart from his official engagements in New Delhi, President U Htin Kyaw visited places of historical and cultural importance, including Bodhgaya and Agra.
- President U Htin Kyaw was accompanied by a high level delegation including the Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture, the Union Minister for Transportation and Communication, the Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Manpower, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and other senior officials. He was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, 2016. The President of India hosted a banquet in his honour.
- President U Htin Kyaw paid tribute and respect to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
- H.E. Smt Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, called on President U Htin Kyaw in New Delhi.
- The Indian leadership congratulated the President of Myanmar on the victory of the National League for Democracy after general elections in Myanmar in November 2015. They expressed support to the new Government in all its endeavours for the well-being of the people of Myanmar, including in development of democratic institutions. They also offered to share India’s own experiences in evolving parliamentary rules, procedures and practices as well as in managing Union-State/Region relations, allocation of powers and resources between the Union and States etc.
- President U Htin Kyaw held wide-ranging discussions with H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. While reviewing bilateral issues, both sides agreed that greater bilateral cooperation between India and Myanmar is required in order to promote inclusive growth and development and to contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in both countries and in the region as a whole. They expressed support for the continuation and reinvigoration of dialogue within the framework of existing bilateral institutional mechanisms, namely Joint Consultative Commission, Foreign Office Consultations, Joint Trade Committee, National Level Meeting, Sectoral Level Meeting, Regional Border Committee, Border Liaison Meetings, Heads of Survey Department Meeting etc.
- The Indian leadership also expressed support to the national reconciliation and peace process of the Government of Myanmar under the “21st Century Panglong Conference”.
- Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral security and defence cooperation, which is crucial for maintaining peace and stability along the long India-Myanmar border. They reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism and insurgent activity in all its forms and manifestations. Both sides reiterated their commitment to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the other and to continue practising the policy of not allowing any insurgent groups to use their soil for hostile activities against the other side. They emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation between security forces and border guarding agencies for securing peace, security and stability in the border areas, which is crucial for overall development.
- The two sides alluded to the importance of sound border management as an intrinsic part of maintaining border security, peace and stability along the entire length of their common border.
- Referring to the ongoing discussions between the two sides on maritime security, both sides agreed that Maritime Security Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal is vital for both countries.
- The two sides reviewed ongoing development cooperation initiatives being undertaken with technical and financial assistance from the Government of India, including in the areas of connectivity and capacity building, health and education infrastructure, agriculture, information technology, industrial training, and various training programmes.
- The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the implementation of Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project. The two sides agreed that the completed facilities at Sittwe and Paletwa should be operationalised by December 2016 and the modalities of their operation and maintenance be finalized by the two sides at the earliest. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the signing of two MoUs pertaining to the implementation of India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project.
- Identifying the need for special focus on the development and prosperity of the people in bordering areas, both sides agreed to enhance their cooperation to bring about overall socio-economic development in the border areas by undertaking both infrastructure development and micro-economic projects, including the upgradation of roads and construction of schools, health centres, bridges, agriculture and related training activities in accordance with the MoU on India-Myanmar Border Area Cooperation.
- The two leaders noted with appreciation the substantial progress made in upgrading the Yangon Children’s Hospital and the Sittwe General Hospital with technical and financial assistance from India. The Myanmar side thanked India for this important partnership initiative with state-of-the-art medical equipment. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the functioning of the Myanmar Institute of Information Technology (MIIT) as well as on the establishment of the Rice Bio-Park at Yezin University in Nay Pyi Taw. They reviewed progress in establishing the Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE) in Nay Pyi Taw. These institutes will emerge as centres of excellence that will be able to address the capacity building needs of Myanmar’s IT and agricultural sector respectively. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the successful upgradation of the India-Myanmar Centre for the Enhancement of IT Skills (IMCEITS) in Yangon, which has emerged as a premier ICT training centre in Myanmar, Language Laboratories at Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, e-Resource Centre at Nay Pyi Taw as well as the computerisation of the Central Land Records Development Training Centre (CLRDTC) at Taik Kyi in Yangon region. Indian side offered assistance for undertaking small development projects in areas and sectors considered priority by Government of Myanmar. Indian side also offered assistance to Myanmar side to enhance agricultural productivity by undertaking initiatives such as programme on germplasm enhancement, development of seed models, training private seed entrepreneurs in Myanmar, training and demonstration of improvised agro-techniques and other capacity building projects. The two sides agreed to exchange information on skill development initiative that could be undertaken to provide useful employment opportunities while the needs of industry of both countries.
- The two sides agreed to promote trade and expand cooperation especially in agriculture, banking, power and energy sectors. Both sides expressed satisfaction that the trade between the two countries has shown resilience to the global trends.They agreed that both Governments would work to identify and remove various impediments to bilateral trade. In this context, both sides appreciated the useful deliberations at the India-Myanmar Business Conclave held in Yangon in May 2016 which was attended by a high-level business delegation led by Indian Minister of Commerce Smt Nirmala Sitharaman.Indian side conveyed that leading Indian companies are prepared to invest in Myanmar’s hospitality and automobile sector, and requested that this may be facilitated.
- Indian leadership thanked Myanmar for accepting its request and giving a licence to the State Bank of India to open a bank branch in Myanmar, and sought support while it sets up its office in Myanmar. Both sides expressed the confidence that the commencement of direct banking operations would help greatly to expand bilateral trade and commerce
- The two leaders also expressed hope that the modalities of operation of border haats may be finalised soon so that trade can also start taking place through border haats.
- Both sides agreed that an arrangement for supply of pulses from Myanmar to India would be in the mutual interest of Myanmar farmers and Indian consumers. They encouraged Indian companies to cooperate with Myanmar farmers in order to improve the quality of pulses production and thus ensure better marketability of the produce in India.
- The President of Myanmar thanked India for the power supply that commenced from India across the Moreh-Tamu border on April 8, 2016. Both sides agreed that this is a small but critical step towards further integrating our countries and economies for the mutual benefit of the two peoples. Both sides will consider infrastructure strengthening of the transmission network to increase supply in future.
- In order to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation in this key sector, the Indian and Myanmar leaders resolved that the proposed MoU between India and Myanmar on Cooperation in the field of Power should be negotiated at the earliest.
- The Indian side invited Myanmar to participate in the International Solar Alliance Initiative, which is intended to allow solar resource rich countries to address their special needs and collaborate to reduce costs and improve generation capacity.
- The two sides recognised the presence of Indian companies in the oil exploration and hydrocarbon pipeline sectors and agreed to further expand this collaboration. Myanmar side agreed to invite Indian companies to participate in competitive tender for petrochemical and petroleum products marketing infrastructure and setting up LPG terminals.
- Reviewing ongoing bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation, both agreed to further promote cultural and academic exchanges. They expressed satisfaction at the ongoing pace of work on the project for conservation and restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar, by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Indian side confirmed that a project to preserve and conserve stone inscriptions and temples of King Mindon and King Bagyidaw of Myanmar in Bodh Gaya would be undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India with financial support from Government of India. The two sides also agreed on joint technical support for preservation and conservation of the two stone inscriptions. The two sides noted with satisfaction that the ‘Festival of India’ in Myanmar was held with popular support and participation.
- The two sides agreed to encourage people-to people contact and facilitate movement of people across land borders of the two countries. The two sides also discussed on setting up immigration facilities at the Tamu-Moreh and Rhi-Zowkhathar border crossing points at an early date.
- The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to work closely together in all international multilateral organizations and, in this context, agreed to make efforts to coordinate national positions on important issues that figure high on the international fora. Recognising that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to the international peace and security, and underscoring that there can be no justification whatsoever for acts of terrorism, the two sides called for further strengthening of the international legal regime to combat terrorism, and in this context, called for early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism presently being negotiated in the United Nations. Both sides recognised that early reform of the UN Security Council is an essential element in the overall effort to reform the United Nations to make it more representative, effective and better adapted to the needs of the 21st Century. Myanmar side reiterated its support for India’s efforts to become a permanent member in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.
- India expressed its support for the progress made by Myanmar in its ongoing reform process under difficult circumstances including its efforts towards achieving an inclusive and broad based national reconciliation. In this context, both sides agreed that the delegations of India and Myanmar will continue to work together closely during deliberations in all relevant UN fora.
- During the visit, the following documents were signed:
i) MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine
ii) The MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy.
iii) The MoU on Cooperation in the Construction/Upgradation of the Bridges and Approach Road in Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa section of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar.
iv) The MoU on Cooperation in the Construction/Upgradation of Kalewa-Yagyi road section of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar, and
- Both sides welcomed the various steps taken to strengthen regional cooperation under BIMSTEC. The Myanmar side informed the Indian side that State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will participate in the forthcoming Outreach Summit between BRICS and BIMSTEC partners to be held in India on 16 October 2016. The Indian side welcomed this.
- The President of Myanmar thanked the President of India for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to him and to the members of his delegation during their stay in India.
- The President of Myanmar extended an invitation to the President of India and the Prime Minister of India to visit Myanmar at mutually convenient dates. The invitations were accepted, and it was agreed that dates for these visits would be decided by mutual consultations through diplomatic channels.