India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex body for India’s pulses trade and industry, recently hosted Tin Htut Oo, Union Minister, ministry of agriculture, livestock and irrigation, Myanmar, and the trade delegation from Myanmar, in Mumbai. To discuss various opportunities, avenues, and platforms wherein Myanmar and IPGA can collaborate and work together to address issues impacting the trade. The productive meeting also focused on promoting trade relations, exchanging ideas and research knowledge to improve sustainable business between India and Myanmar.
The trade delegation from Myanmar led by Tin Htut Oo, Union Minister, ministry of agriculture, livestock and irrigation. The Republic Union of Myanmar, Ambassador, Moe Kyaw Aung, Embassy of The Republic of the Union of Myanmar and had representation from Oversea Agro Trader Association, Myanmar Pulses, Beans, Maize, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association, and India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce. Bimal Kothari, Chairman, IPGA, along with key management committee members felicitated the dignitaries.
In his opening remarks, Kothari said, “It's a great delight to extend a hearty welcome to Tin Htut Oo, Union Minister, ministry of agriculture, livestock and irrigation, Ambassador Moe Kyaw Aung, and the high-level delegation from Myanmar. This visit provides a great opportunity to further cement the already strong bond that exists between India and Myanmar and boost trade, investment, and research in the area of agriculture and value-added agribusiness."
"I foresee opportunities for collaborative efforts in pulses production technology. Our team of farm scientists is arguably among the best in the world. India and Myanmar can undertake joint research to enhance the production, productivity, and nutritional quality of pulses. Myanmar has been one of the most reliable and oldest partners as far as the pulses business is concerned. We have been importing pulses like pigeon peas, urad whole, and mung beans from Myanmar for over four decades," he further adds.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has the potential to grow exponentially. To further foster the trade relationship between India and Myanmar and augment the volume of the same, IPGA would recommend that imports and export between the two countries be conducted directly between the business entities located in India and Myanmar, and the trade may be denominated in Indian Rupees.
Kothari mentions, "Keeping in mind our similarities and for the sake of mutual and shared prosperity, we at IPGA also recommend that Myanmar is a potential location for investment in the agriculture sector for Indian entrepreneurs for which the Government of Myanmar should incentivize investments in Myanmar from India. For this, we will urge the Government of Myanmar to conduct a series of roadshows in the major Indian cities highlighting the opportunities in the agricultural sector in Myanmar. We at IPGA would gladly assist the Government of Myanmar in this endeavor. To take the idea forward, I recommend a joint group of IPGA and Agriculture Ministry of Myanmar may be set up which shall contribute pro-actively to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries..”
Tin Htut Oo said, “I would like to thank IPGA for this warm welcome. This is a very important step for the future co-operation between our two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding will help us to work even closer for food and agricultural development. We also need to look beyond our boundaries. Myanmar is investing further in the food and agriculture sector. We need to transform to adapt to the needs of the new generation. We have to create a conducive environment for the private sector to invest. In the government-to-government relation, we have to assure stable trade and agreements between the two countries so that producers and traders are content with doing long-term trading. We need to open up more investment opportunities for the development of the pulses industry. On the government side, we need to focus more on research and development. The MOU for the exchange of technology between the two agricultural ministries is a step in that direction."
"Government and private sector partnership is required to achieve the larger objective of food security. We are pleased to be aligned with the vision and mission of IPGA. We should work together towards enhancing the pulses sector as it has a very big potential in the future,” he concludes.