India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural, and religious ties that have turned into a multi-folded trade and business partnership that helps in the economic growth of both the nation. To understand the challenges and way forward, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized an interactive webinar on “India-Myanmar Business Promotion, Challenges and Opportunities Post COVID-19” with delegates and panellists.
The delegates who deliberated in the webinar were Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Yangon, Myanmar; Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, New Delhi, Republic of India; Mr. Sunil Seth, President, India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Maung Maung Lay, Vice President, Union of Myanmar, Federation of Chambers of Commerce.
Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Yangon, Myanmar, emphasized the maintenance of high-level exchanges over the past few years and affirmed that the momentum should be carried forward. He further said that Myanmar has been an important centre of exchange of trade and business for India as it is a land bridge between India and countries of Southeast Asia. While India-Myanmar shares trade relations in many areas but post-COVID-19 it can expand their trade relations in areas such as pharmacy, healthcare, transport, Food Processing, Steel, Renewable Energy, communication, Education and others which can help both the countries to revive.
Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, New Delhi, Republic of India, deliberated about the steps and measures taken by the Government of Myanmar in combating the spread of COVID-19 which has led in the slowdown of the spread of the pandemic in the country. He also appraised the step taken by the Government of India is controlling the spread of the pandemic.
Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung further highlighted that India and Myanmar share trade relations in energy, infrastructure, health, transport and communication, and many more. He highlighted that India has always been an important country for Myanmar. He also said that post-COVID-19, there will a lot of business and trade exchanges between the countries that will benefit the new and private business companies in both the countries to bounce back and grow themselves in the future.
Dr. Maung Maung Lay, Vice President, Union of Myanmar, Federation of Chambers of Commerce, talked about the sea, air, and land connectivity of both the countries which has lead to a stronger relationship. It’s important to regain the past glory lead by religious and cultural linkages which have always lead to a positive relationship building between India and Myanmar. He further emphasized the need to focus on globalization post-COVID-19 which will help in revival and economy and trade of both the countries and further lead to business growth as well.
Mr. Sunil Seth, President, India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, while talking about the India-Myanmar relation encouraged Indian businesses to look keenly towards the markets of Myanmar for doing business as they have the purchasing power and it’s a country rich in resources.
Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Senior Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his welcome address embraced the rooted long-term relationship shared by India and Myanmar which have been there for each other in the good and bad times. He further deliberated that due to COVID-19 pandemic, there is an impact and loss in the business, trade and economic conditions between India and Myanmar, highlighting that India's 25% market share in Myanmar in the telecom sector and about the deals and exchanges between India and Myanmar on the export of pharmaceuticals.
He also lauded the 20 Lakh Crores package announced by Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his goal on making India Self-Reliant will be a long way to outshine India in the world and is a great step towards the revival and bounce of the economy.
Mr. Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in his special address mentioned that India can do a lot more to Myanmar government in the context of trading and reviving the economy during and post COVID-19. Myanmar is a very important member of the Bay of Bengal countries concerning technology, energy, trade, etc. Talking about the AYUSH and Pharmacy sector, he said that it’s a competitive industry where Indian brands are playing a pivotal role by setting up pharmacy institutes in Myanmar.
Mr. Ajay Poddar, Chairman, International Affairs Committee for ASEAN, East Asia & Oceania; PHDCCI gave an overview about the bilateral relations between India and Myanmar and mentioned that Myanmar can act as a link between India and ASEAN.
Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber while thanking all the delegates and participants, also assured that PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry will always remain as a pillar of strength to its members and government. He also stated PHDCCI interest in signing MOU’s with India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce (IMCC) & Union of Myanmar, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) for which both the chambers have given their affirmative response.
S K Kalra and Associates and Disha Cargo Care were the Strategic Partner for the webinar. The Webinar included industry insights by Mr. Nasir Zaidi, Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Gulf, PHD Chamber; Mr. Vivek Agarwala, Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Africa; PHD Chamber; Mr. Vikram Gera, Co‐Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Europe & CIS, PHD Chamber; Mr. Surinder Kalra, Co-Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Gulf, PHD Chamber; Mr. Atul Anand, Co-Chairman, International Committee on East Asia, ASEAN and Oceania, PHD Chamber; Mr. G L Aggarwal, Co-Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Africa, PHD Chamber and witnessed participation of over 130 Industry stalwarts from India and Myanmar. The session was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Principal Director, PHD Chamber.