MONYWA, May 28 (Manipur Information Centre): Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today appealed to Indian investors not to think for India alone but also for Myanmar so that the two countries could co-exist.
The Chief Minister who was the Special Guest of Honour in the opening ceremony of the 2-Day Region Investment and Business Conclave organized by Sagaing Region Government, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (UMFCCI) and Indian Chamber of Commerce at Mya Sandar Hall reiterated that Manipur is the gateway of South East Asian countries as mentioned in the Look East Policy.
Chief Minister of Sagaing region, U Thar Aye who made the welcome address requested the Indian authorities to invest for socio-economic development of Sangaing Region.
Commerce and Industries Minister of Nagaland Pangnyu Phom and Minister of trade and Commerce of Mizoram Lalrinliana Sailo also addressed the gatherings highlighting their respective business opportunities.
Prior to the Business Conclave, the Chief Minister of Manipur Okram ibobi Singh and the Chief Minister of Sagaing region U Thar Aye jointly inaugurated the Myanmar- India Trade Fair at Town Hall here.
Speaking at the Conclave, O. Ibobi He also stated that Imphal Airport would become an international airport in July this year proposed for introducing flights between Imphal and Monywa, Imphal and Mandalay, Imphal and Yangon and Imphal and Kalemyo to promote trade, tourism, business and investment.
Highlighting the importance of Imphal- Mandalay bus service in the promotion of economy, tourism and trade between the countries, he urged the Myanmar authorities to agree the proposed bus service as early as possible.
Indicating that a number of Indian businessmen had come in the Conclave, Manipur Chief Minister suggested that investment could take place in Sagaing Region in Myanmar in different areas like generation of power in hydroelectricity, thermal power plants, agro-industries, setting up of educational institutions and hospitals with the support and co-operation from Mynamar authorities.
He proposed exchanges between Saigaing Region and Manipur in areas like education, culture and sports; and offered education facilities to the students of Sagaing Region for studies in medicine, engineering, higher studies in colleges and university in Manipur. Highlighting that Manipur was the power house of sports in the country, he invited the Myanmarese sportspersons for study at the National Sports Academy in Imphal.
Manipur Chief Minister said, “People living on both sides of the border of Myanmar and Manipur have been sharing goods and essential commodities produced by both countries for a long time. Formal border trade between India and Myanmar started only in the year 1995 through Moreh- Tamu sector after signing an agreement in 1994. However, lack of banking facilities and good infrastructure on both sides of the border has led to normal trade not being started” He emphasized on the Myanmar Economic Bank in Myanmar and United Bank of India which were the designated banks for trade to put in facilities for foreign exchange and opening of Letter of Credit by the traders.
He said, ”The Government of India is setting up an Integrated Check Post at Moreh for promotion of trade and tourism between India and Myanmar through Moreh- Tamu Sector which will be ready by 2015. Two Bordar Haats between Manipur and Sagaing Region at Behiang and New Somtal in Manipur have been approved. We would like to open two more Haats at Konkan Thana and Tusom in Ukhrul District of Manipur.” he further stated.
The Chief Minister also proposed for import of precious stones,coaland pulses from Myanmar to Manipur through Moreh- Tamu border. He also urged the Myanmar authorities for import of teak from Sagaing Region to Manipur for industrial purposes. Manipur Government has earmarked 500 acres of land for teamber park. This would enhance the economic condition of the Sangaing Region from iexporting the teak to Manipur: besides providing job opportunities to the people of India , particularly of Manipur.
Refering to visa facility for visit to Myanmar by land route, O. Ibobi Singh proposed for opening a Visa Office of Myanmar in Imphal , which would facilitate in the promotion of tourism in Myanmar. Manipur Government was willing to provide necessary space for opening of Visa Office at Imphal.
The Chief Minister also invited traders of Myanmar to take part in the state Sangai festival and drew the attention of the Sagaing Region authorities to become a partner in the Sangai Festival to be held in November 2013.
“Manipur has excellent medical care facilities. Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital, private hospitals like Shija Hospital, Sky Hospital for heart, Raj Polyclinic, Imphal Hospital, City Hospital in Imphal are well equipped to provide excellent medical care at very reasonable rates. Some of the Myanmarese nationals are coming to Imphal for treatment and the Government of India is considering to provide visa-on arrival for the Myanmarese nationals at Moreh for medical treament. With these facilities, it will be very convenient for Myanmarese nationals to visit to Manipur to get medical care,” he said.