After a gap of over two
years, India and Myanmar are likely to resume trade through the land route.
“When Covid struck the
land route trade was stopped. However, the sea and air routes continued. Since
the past few weeks, there have been talks between the ministry of commerce and
Myanmar and its been decided in principle to reopen the land route for
cross-border trade,’’ according to sources.
Trade is likely to resume from Moreh (110 km from Imphal, Manipur)
A formal notification on
resumption of trade is awaited and could come through any day now, say sources.
The governments of both
countries had set a target of achieving $1 billion in bilateral trade five
years back, however, Covid, followed by the Myanmar military coup in 2021 has
delayed achieving this target.
While Myanmar is one of the largest exporters of pulses and beans
to India, India exports mostly pharma products to them.
Myanmar is strategically
located for India as they share a land border of over 1643 kms with Myanmar as
well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four northeastern states
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, have a boundary with Myanmar.
“India shares religious,
linguistic and ethnic ties with Myanmar which is the only ASEAN country
adjoining India and, therefore, is a gateway to South East Asia. India is seeking
to enhance its cooperation with Myanmar in line with our ‘Act East’ and
‘Neighborhood First’ Policies, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
The land route trade is less than 10 per cent of the total trade
between the two countries
Interestingly, the land
route trade is less than 10 per cent of the total trade between the two
countries as majority of exports and imports is done through sea route and by
air. Once trading from Moreh resumes, India will begin to pitch again for
pushing the proposed 1360 km India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway.