Ten agreements were signed focusing on the socioeconomic development of Myanmar during the visit
President U Win Myint and first lady Daw Cho Cho received a ceremonial welcome on February 27 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ten Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed by both the leaders as part of the bilateral cooperation between the countries.
The joint agreements prioritised an overall socio-economic development of Myanmar with India’s assistance especially focussing on solving the conflict-ridden Rakhine state. Mass exodus of Rohingyas from the Rakhine state amid persecution and extreme violence was the epicentre of three of the agreements signed at the Hyderabad House. In 2019, as phase-1 of the Rakhine State Development Programme, India committed $25 million assistance and provided 250 pre-fabricated houses and other relief materials to the Rakhine state.
The bilateral talks between the two countries also focussed on human trafficking and rehabilitation as MoUs on “Cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons; Rescue, Recovery; Repatriation and Re-Integration of Victims of Trafficking” were also signed. Agreements regarding the Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Quick Impact Project (QIP) were also signed.
The meeting also covered agreements on the health research cooperation between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Medical Research (DMR), Ministry of Health and Sports Myanmar. India also offered to provide medical radiation equipment “Bhabhatron-2”, for treatment of cancer patients. Cooperation on petroleum, including refinery and stockpiling were also recognised. Another major takeaway from the joint agreements was the commitment to coordinate a bus service between Imphal and Mandalay which is set to commence on April 7, 2020.
In order to ease the people-to-people movement and cargo traffic, both countries agreed on strengthening the borders, streamlining the procedures involved and constructing infrastructure. Construction of Integrated Check Point at Tamu, Myanmar, which is bordering Manipur, was promised from India’s side. Maritime security was also covered in the talks between the two countries. Considering the expansion of tourism, business opportunities in Myanmar and overall deveopment of the country’s economy, bilateral talks included a proposal for launching India’s RuPay Card in Myanmar as soon as possible. Acknowledgement of previous agreements was also made in the joint statements during the talks. The President and the First Lady also visited Rajghat in order to pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi.