India committed to support Myanmar to build infrastructure, develop human resources: Prez Kovind


File Photo: President of India, Ram Nath Kovind

File Photo: President of India, Ram Nath Kovind

India is committed to support Myanmar in its efforts to develop its human resources and build infrastructure, including a transport project on the Indian border.

President Ram Nath Kovind made the pledge during his ongoing visit to Myanmar as part of India’s efforts to step up bilateral engagements under the rubric of the ‘Act East’ and the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies.

“India reiterated its commitment to support Myanmar in its efforts to build infrastructure and develop its human resources. Myanmar expressed its appreciation for India’s assistance in its endeavour for socio-economic development,” according to a joint statement issued at the end of President Kovind’s official engagements in the country on Thursday.

During his visit, President Kovind held extensive talks with his counterpart U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

An MoU was also signed on ‘the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project’ for appointing a port operator, which would enable the Sittwe Port and Paletwa IWT infrastructure to be used commercially for the development of the surrounding areas, it said.

The project — the road from Paletwa to Zorinpui on the Indian border — was underway and both sides agreed to facilitate movement of project personnel, construction material and equipment across the border through Zorinpui and from Paletwa, the statement said.

During the talks, Kovind appreciated the Myanmar’s decision to grant tourist visa on arrival to Indian citizens who intend to visit the country. The initiative, implemented from December 1, will promote people to people ties and increase the flow of tourists, the statement said.

India also informed Myanmar as a preparatory step to relocate its Embassy in Yangon to the new capital Nay Pyi Taw, it plans to set up an Interim Liaison Office here as soon as discussions on the formalities of opening the office and leasing property were completed with the Myanmar authorities.

The two sides also welcomed the landmark agreement of May 2018 on land border crossing, which has had a positive impact in promoting smooth movement of people between the two countries.

The two leaders also expressed their willingness to operate a coordinated bus service between Mandalay and Imphal (Transit at Tamu/ Moreh Border) to enhance and facilitate the contact of the people between Myanmar and India across the border.

The Indian side also informed Myanmar that a detailed project report has been prepared by the Airports Authority of India for the redevelopment of the Kalay Airport. The report would soon be forwarded to the Government of Myanmar for its comments, after which financing arrangements could be decided.

Both the sides welcomed the progress of work being executed by the Indian agencies on different segments of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar.

The two sides noted the progress made in executing a pilot housing project in northern Rakhine State and the assistance extended by India for agricultural development and IT education in the State.

Myanmar expressed appreciation to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for completing projects to preserve and restore stone inscriptions and temples of King Mindon and King Bagyidaw of Myanmar in Bodh Gaya, the development seen as an important symbol of the shared heritage of the two civilisations.