Joint Statement on the occasion of the State Visit of the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to India

October 14, 2011
New Delhi

1.   At the invitation of the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, is paying a State Visit to India from October 12-15, 2011.

He is accompanied by his wife Daw Khin Khin Win. Apart from his official engagements in New Delhi, President U Thein Sein visited places of economic, historical and religious interest, including Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Varanasi.

 

2.   In New Delhi, President U Thein Sein was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 14, 2011. The President of Myanmar will meet with the President of India who will host a banquet in his honour.

3.   The President of Myanmar paid tribute and respect to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

4.   External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna called on President U Thein Sein.

5.   President U Thein Sein had a meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, which was followed by delegation level talks. The meetings and exchanges were held in a warm, cordial and constructive atmosphere, reflecting the close and friendly relations between the two neighbouring countries and peoples.

6.   During the official talks, the Prime Minister of India was assisted by Home Minister Shri P. Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Jaipal Reddy, Minister of Power Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma, Minister for Science and Technology Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister of State for Defence Shri M.M. Pallam Raju, National Security Adviser Shri Shivshankar Menon, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Shri Pulok Chatterji, Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai, Secretary to the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region Ms Jayati Chandra and other senior officials.

7.   The President of Myanmar was assisted by Chief of General Staff Lt Gen. Hla Htay Win, Minister for Border Affairs and Myanmar Industrial Development Lt. Gen Thein Htay, Minister for Foreign Affairs U. Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing, Minister for Religious Affairs Thura U Myint Maung, Minister for Industry (1) and (2) U Soe Thane, Minister for Electric Power (1) U Zaw Min, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development and Livestock and Fisheries U Tin Naing Thein, Minister for Transport U Nyan Tun Aung, Minister for Energy U Than Htay, Minister for Science and Technology U Aye Myint, Minister of Commerce U Win Myint, Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Win Myint, and other senior officials.

8.   The visit represented the first State visit to India following the swearing in of a new Government in Myanmar in March 2011 that marks welcome progress in moving towards an open and democratic framework.

9.   The Prime Minister of India congratulated the President of Myanmar on the transition towards democratic Government and offered all necessary assistance in further strengthening this democratic transition in an inclusive and broad based manner. He welcomed the ongoing efforts at political, economic and social reform in Myanmar. He also welcomed the convening of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw (National Parliament of Myanmar) and the elected assemblies in all the States and Regions in Myanmar and expressed readiness to share India's own experiences in evolving parliamentary rules, procedures and practices. In this context it was noted that the Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House of Myanmar’s Parliament) has been invited to lead a delegation to India in December 2011.

10. The Prime Minister of India and the President of Myanmar reiterated their shared commitment to strengthening and broadening the multifaceted relationship based on shared history, civilizational ties and close religious, linguistic and cultural affinities and to take it to a new level. While acknowledging the fact that both sides have a responsibility to promote peace, security and stability in the region, they emphasized the need to intensify economic, social and developmental engagement in order to bring about overall socio-economic betterment and inclusive growth.

11. With a view to carrying forward the momentum of bilateral exchanges, it was agreed that a meeting of the External Affairs / Foreign Minister of the two countries would be held in New Delhi in early 2012 and the next round of Foreign Office Consultations would be held in India at mutually convenient dates in 2012.

12. Both sides reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They agreed on enhancing effective cooperation and coordination between the security forces of the two countries in tackling the deadly menace of insurgency and terrorism, which has caused countless loss of innocent lives. Both sides also underscored the need to strengthen institutional mechanisms for sharing of intelligence to combat the menace of insurgency, arms smuggling and drug trafficking. In this context, they discussed matters relating to further strengthening of border management mechanisms. The two leaders reiterated the assurance that the territory of either would not be allowed for activities inimical to the other and resolved not to allow their respective territory to be used for training, sanctuary and other operations by terrorist and insurgent organizations and their operatives.

13. They welcomed the scheduling of meeting of the Heads of Survey Department of India and Myanmar in November 2011, directed the Heads to jointly work out and implement a schedule for inspection and maintenance of boundary pillars in the open season in 2011-12 in a time bound manner.

14. Both sides reiterated their common desire to complete the repatriation process of Myanmar fishermen who drifted into Indian maritime territory and who are being looked after by Indian authorities in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar.

15. The two sides reviewed the infrastructure development and cooperation projects that are being undertaken in Myanmar with technical and financial assistance from Government of India, including in the field of roads, waterways, power, health, education and industrial training, telecommunications, and others.

16. During the visit, the following documents were signed:

                    1).  Memorandum of Understanding for the Upgradation of the Yangon Children's Hospital and Sittwe General Hospital; and

 

                    2).  Programme of Cooperation in Science & Technology for the period of 2012-2015.

17. The Myanmar side conveyed its gratitude for Lines of Credit amounting to nearly US$ 300 million that had been extended by India, including for the development of railways, transport, power transmission lines, oil refinery, OFC link, etc. The President of Myanmar welcomed the interest of Indian companies to invest in Myanmar.

18. The Prime Minister of India announced the extension of a new concessional facility of US$500 million Line of Credit to Myanmar for specific projects, including irrigation projects, each of which will be duly processed and approved in accordance with the modalities applicable for LDCs for such lines of credit. The President of Myanmar thanked the Prime Minister of India for extending the new credit facility.

19. The two leaders welcomed the progress made towards enhancing connectivity between the two countries to mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries. They expressed satisfaction at the implementation of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, especially the port development and Inland waterways. It was decided that the road component of the project be started at the earliest, a study be undertaken on the commercial usages of the Kaladan project and necessary agreements to operationalise the route finalised. It was also decided to open an additional Land Customs Station / border trade point on the India-Myanmar border to allow for the smooth flow of goods generated by the Kaladan Project.

20. Both sides reiterated their commitment for an early implementation of the Rhi-Tiddim Road Development Project with grant assistance from India.

21. Reviewing the progress in establishing trilateral connectivity from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar, it was noted that substantial progress had been achieved in the preparation of a DPR for roads and causeways in Myanmar. Both sides reiterated the commitment to realize this project.

22. The two leaders also expressed their commitment to enhance cooperation in the area of Science & Technology. They noted that following the renewal of Science & Technology Agreement in 2010 the Programme of Cooperation in Science & Technology for the period of 2012-15 was signed during the current visit. The Prime Minister of India announced India's support for training of Myanmar researchers in the areas of mutual interest and twinning of Indian and Myanmar institutions under India-Myanmar Programme of Cooperation in Science & Technology.

23. The two sides also expressed their commitment to enhance cooperation in the area of agriculture. They noted that the contract for the supply of agricultural machinery under the US$ 10 million grant assistance from India had been awarded. The Prime Minister of India announced that India would extend technical and financial support for following new projects:

          (i). Setting up an Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE) in Yezin; and

          (ii). Setting up a Rice Bio Park demonstrating the various techniques in rice biomass utilisation in the Integrated Demonstration Farm at Nay Pyi Taw.

The President of Myanmar expressed gratitude for the assistance being extended by the Government of India and emphasised that these institutions could play a vital role in reviving the country's agricultural sector, on which over 70% of the population is dependent.

24. Recognising the fundamental place of education and human resource development in bringing about overall economic development, and the importance of IT in today's global scenario, the Prime Minister of India announced India’s support for setting up an Information Technology Institute in Mandalay in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

25. Welcoming the successful completion of the Industrial Training Centre in Pakokku, with India’s assistance, the two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress on the setting up of another Industrial Training Centre at Myingyan with technical support from M/s HMTI.

26. The Myanmar side expressed appreciation for India's assistance in the relief and rehabilitation efforts that followed the severe earthquake that struck North-Eastern Shan State in March 2011. It was noted that the assistance of over US$ 1million from India, which included assistance in the reconstruction of a high school and 6 primary schools in the affected area, was timely and catered to urgent requirements of the people of the area.

27. The two sides agreed to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation in a sustainable manner. In this context, the two leaders endorsed the understandings arrived at the 4th meeting of the bilateral Joint Trade Committee that was held in New Delhi recently, and called for the expeditious implementation of decision taken, including the proposal to establish a Trade and Investment Forum at the business level, expand the basket of goods under border trade, visit of an Indian banking delegation to Myanmar to facilitate better trade and payment arrangements, etc. The two sides also welcomed the decision to hold the 'Enterprise India' Show in Yangon on November 10-14, 2011 and urged companies on both sides to look seriously at opportunities in the other. The two sides encouraged business associations in their respective countries to enter into closer ties with their counterparts and also participate in each other's trade fairs.

28. With a view to promoting border trade, the two sides agreed that meetings between Indian and Myanmar customs, immigration, border chambers of commerce, officials of bank branches at the border, border trade officials (Tamu and Rhi –OSS Team) and Government officials would take place at Tamu-Moreh and Rhi-Zowkhathar at regular intervals. The business representatives of the Manipur/Sagaing Region and of Mizoram/Chin State will also participate in these meetings.

29. It was agreed to consider opening up new Border Trading points along the border for the economic upliftment of the people of the area. It was also agreed to consider better functioning of the existing points and to facilitate movement of people and goods between the two countries.

30. Recognising the importance of the power sector as a major area of cooperation, the two sides reiterated their commitment to cooperate in the implementation of the Tamanthi and Shwezaye projects on the Chindwin River Basin in Myanmar. They welcomed the successful completion of the task of updating the DPR on the Tamanthi project by NHPC on the basis of essential additional investigations. They noted that the final updated DPR for Shwezaye would be available by March 2012. They directed the concerned officials on both sides to finalise plans for implementation of the project within six months.

31. Both leaders underscored the need for energy security and expressed satisfaction at ongoing bilateral cooperation in the area. They agreed to enhance cooperation in the area of oil and natural gas. In this context, the Myanmar side welcomed the substantial investments made by Indian companies like GAIL, ESSAR, ONGC and others in off-shore and on-shore blocks, and construction of natural gas pipelines. Myanmar agreed to encourage further investments by Indian companies, both in public and private sector, in the oil and natural gas sectors.

32. It was also agreed to extend bilateral cooperation to generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. In this regard, companies, both in public and private sectors, in India and Myanmar would be encouraged to set up joint projects.

33. Appreciating the importance of people-to-people contacts in forging even closer ties, the two sides agreed to take steps to ease the movement of people between India and Myanmar. The Myanmar side thanked India for the facilities and courtesies being extended to Myanmar pilgrims visiting India.

34. The two sides agreed on the need for expansion of air connectivity between the two countries, and directed the concerned officials to work towards enhancing air services which could cover more carriers, flights and destinations. It was noted that this would transform business and cultural ties between the two nations.

35. Both sides agreed to examine feasibility of establishing railway links, ferry and bus services between the two countries. In this context, both sides agreed to examine commencement of ferry services on the Kolkata-Yangon and Chennai-Yangon routes.

36. The two leaders agreed for early upgradation of the microwave link between Moreh and Mandalay or other necessary link under the Indian line of Credit, and directed the concerned officials to work towards establishment of the new Optical Fibre link between Monywa to Rhi-Zawkhatar with Indian assistance.

37. The Myanmar side expressed gratitude for the training offered by India under the ITEC and TCS schemes to Myanmar scholars and Government officials. The Indian side agreed to Myanmar’s request to increasing the number of training slots offered annually to Myanmar nationals to 250 from 2012-2013.

38. Both sides agreed to support joint research projects and exchanges of a historical, archaeological, cultural and educational nature. In this context, it was agreed to enter into a comprehensive Cultural Exchange Programme to promote bilateral exchanges with special emphasis on the four Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram and cooperation in the fields of art, archaeology, museology, sports, media, etc. Both sides agreed to review the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Republic of India, for expeditious implementation. It was agreed that both sides would jointly organise a high level International conference of Buddhist Philosophy in Myanmar in 2012.

39. It was noted with satisfaction that two teams of professionals from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) visited Myanmar and carried out detailed studies on the conservation and restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar. It was agreed that restoration work on the site would start at the earliest based on the report by ASI.

40. With a view to strengthen diplomatic and consular presence in each other’s countries, it was noted with appreciation that the Myanmar side had agreed that it shall make available the identified plots of land in Nay Pyi Taw, its Capital city, on a lease in perpetuity, and shall transfer the ownership of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) properties in Yangon in the name of the Government of India on a lease for 60 years extendable further by a block period of 30 years each time, on the same terms, as long as India maintains its Diplomatic/Consular Mission in Myanmar. With regard to transfer of the ownership of the LIC properties in Yangon, it was agreed in principle that the Government of Myanmar, in exercise of the powers vested in it under the Article 14 of the Transfer of Immovable Property Restriction Law 1987 authorized the LIC to handover the land and building thereon at 545-547 Merchant Street and 654-666 Merchant Street, Yangon. The Government of India agreed to the request of the Government of Myanmar to facilitate allocation of land in Bodh Gaya for setting up a Buddhist monastery for use of pilgrims and monks from Myanmar.

41. While discussing international developments, the two sides emphasized the importance of an effective multilateral system, centred on a strong United Nations, as a key factor in tackling global challenges. In this context, they stressed the urgent need to pursue the reform of the United Nations including the Security Council, to make it more representative, credible and effective. The President of Myanmar reiterated his country’s support for India’s candidature for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

42. The two sides emphasized the importance of close coordination towards the cause of regional cooperation. The Indian leadership offered its good wishes to Myanmar for a successful term as BIMSTEC Chair, including its proposal to host the next BIMSTEC Summit meeting. The Indian side also offered to deepen its engagement with Myanmar under its “Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) programme”. Myanmar being a natural bridge between the ASEAN and India, the Indian side reiterated its intention of building upon the commonalities and synergies between the two countries to advance its ‘Look East’ Policy.

43. The President of Myanmar thanked the President of India for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation during their stay in India.

44. President U Thein Sein extended invitations to the President and Prime Minister of India to visit Myanmar at a mutually convenient time. The invitations were accepted and it was agreed that the dates of the visits would be decided by mutual consultations through diplomatic channels.

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