India promises developmental aid to Myanmar
India on Thursday pledged developmental aid to Myanmar, terming the country as a “vitally important neighbor”.
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma made the pledge during a meeting with pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the National League for Democracy, at Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw, the Indian government said in a statement.
“Myanmar is a vitally important neighbor for us. The relations between our two countries have broadened and deepened in the past two years. India stands ready to extend all necessary assistance to the people of Myanmar in their developmental efforts,” the statement quoted the Commerce Minister as telling Suu Kyi.
Sharma also met Energy Minister U. Than Htay. “India will also be happy to assist in strengthening the banking system in Myanmar as we inherit common banking laws,” Sharma told the Energy Minister as the duo set a bilateral trade target of three billion U.S. dollars by 2015, according to the statement.
The Indian Commerce Minister also expressed New Delhi’s interest in procuring energy, oil and natural gas from Myanmar. ” Our companies are interested in securing more exploratory oil and gas blocks both onshore and offshore,” the statement quoted Sharma as telling Htay.
The revival of the discussions on the gas pipeline connection between India and Myanmar through Bangladesh was also discussed during the meeting of the two ministers, the statement said.