President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday addressed the Indian community in Myanmar and invited them to invest in India, saying the country is full of opportunities for business, social enterprise and cultural links.
Kovind, who is in Myanmar to continue India’s high level bilateral engagements under the rubric of the ‘Act East’ and the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies, said that India is at the cusp of a transformative change.
“I bring you good wishes of 1.3 billion citizens of friends and families in India,” he said while speaking at the Indian community reception here.
Myanmar has embarked on an exciting but challenging journey, he said.
“I am here to reassure Myanmar that India is always ready to help it fulfil its aspirations for a brighter future.
“India and Myanmar must pair hard infrastructure being created with soft infrastructure of legal arrangements, like a motor vehicle agreement,for people to travel legally and easily. This will help realise the full potential of our projects,” Kovind said.
He said that today, India is full of opportunities for business, social enterprise and cultural links.
“I invite each one of you to join us in this journey, and to make this partnership more meaningful,” the president said.
“Our Northeast and Myanmar’s North West share strong commonalities of culture, language and traditions. These regions are central to our bilateral vision for growth, prosperity and security.
“This is my first visit to Myanmar. It is both a pilgrimage and a homecoming. This country has a proud, millennia-old tradition of Buddhist thought and philosophy. It is home to one of the leading schools of Buddhism,” Kovind said.
Myanmar, like India, is an enormously diverse country, with different ethnicities and faiths co-existing. The two countries shared civilisational ethos shows that all faiths share fundamental truths, which guide all, he said.
“Myanmar is undergoing multiple and simultaneous transitions towards democracy, peace and economic development. Success here, under the courageous leadership of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is important for this country, South Asia and the ASEAN family.
“As a sister democracy and a civilisational friend, India is fully conscious of the challenges Myanmar faces. We are ready to offer Myanmar any assistance in addressing the challenges of national reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development,” Kovind said.
The central tenets of India’s foreign policy are guided by recognition that the road to development runs through the region. The “Act East” and “Neighbourhood First” policies are key aspects of India’s foreign policy and Myanmar is a focus country in both, the president said.
“We share our expertise with neighbours and others by building infrastructure, creating capacity, and setting up institutions. We do so in the conviction that a peaceful, prosperous and stable neighbourhood is in everyone’s interest,” he added.