India, Myanmar must conclude banking cooperation deal: CII

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 07, 2011 10:30 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) India and Myanmar should conclude an agreement on cooperation in banking and financial services to boost flow of two-way investment and trade, industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said.

'Myanmar represents a bridge between India, ASEAN and East Asia through (India's) northeastern states and offers huge investment scope to Indian companies,' Sanjay Kirloskar, chairman of CII Asean regional committee, said in a report Monday.

Kirloskar, who is also chairman and managing director of Kirloskar Brothers, said Indian firms see good business opportunities in Myanmar's energy, forestry and mineral sectors.

In the report, CII has recommended that border trade and investment facilitation as well as cooperation in services and technology transfer must be addressed for greater economic linkages with between the two countries.

'The two countries should conclude an agreement on cooperation in banking and financial services to enable greater private sector engagement,' it said.

With a view to boost bilateral trade and investment, CII in association with the commerce and industry ministry and Indian embassy in Myanmar is organising a four-day trade show in Yangon beginning Monday.

A high-level delegation of 30 chief executive officers led by Kirloskar is participating in the event.

Bilateral trade between India and Myanmar has increased from nearly $500 million in 2004 to $1.3 billion in 2010.

India's exports to Myanmar stand at $334.4 million and imports at $1 billion.

However, the report said informal border trade between the two countries exceeds formal border trade by several times.

India imports agricultural products especially vegetables and wood from Myanmar while exporting pharmaceuticals, iron, steel, electrical machinery and equipments.

The CII said there was huge scope of collaboration between the two countries in the areas of agro-tech and forest-based products, metals, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure and communications, IT training, pharmaceuticals and engineering goods.

'Availability of financial services will be critical for it,' it said. The two countries have already started negotiation for an agreement on cooperation in banking and financial services.