In 2001, India and Burma jointly built a 160-kilometre indo-Myanmar Friendship Road to develop a commercial transportation route linking Northeast India and South Asia to Southeast Asia. Based on the success of this trade route, India and Myanmar have agreed to build a new 4-lane triangular highway crossing India, Myanmar and Thailand over 3200 kilometres. This project, including a number of road condition improvements, is expected to be completed by 2016. Cooperation in the banking sector, which is essential for investment and trade, is constantly increasing. United Bank of India and EXIM Bank have representations in Yangon. In March 2016, the State Bank of India received a commercial banking licence and began operations. SBI is one of 13 foreign banks operating in Myanmar. Lack of sime between designated banks on both sides, export restrictions, and cross-border commercial goods and insurgents are cited as major obstacles to two-way trade. The 1994 bilateral border agreement provides for the implementation of border trade at three designated border points, one in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Bilateral trade between India and Myanmar is extremely low relative to total trade between the two countries and accounts for less than 1% of total trade between India and Myanmar between 2011-12 and 2017-18. This is because formal trade on a limit at high transaction costs is linked to factors such as poor connectivity, lack of high-quality infrastructure crossing points, non-tariff trade financing institutions, and widespread blackmail on informal/incidental (insurgent) payments. It also proposed an agreement between the United Bank of India, Moreh Branch and Myanmar Economic Bank, a subsidiary of Tamu (both of the designated banks) to allow smooth business transactions at the Manipur border crossing. The scope of this document is to focus on different aspects of trade relations between India and Myanmar. It is organized with an overview of Indo-Myanmar trade relations, then looks at border trade and discusses proposals for improvisation of border trade. It touches on the monetary issue and then talks about raw materials such as legumes, tea and the trade in precious stones. It is also mentioned the drug trade and then letters about the proposed exhibition of India in Yungon. This is the regional grouping BIMST-EC and concludes the discussion with final remarks. The Indian government has sought to expand air, land and sea routes to strengthen trade relations with Myanmar. While India`s private sector participation has been low and has slowly increased, the two governments are working to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, telecommunications, information technology, steel, oil, natural gas, hydrocarbons and food processing.
Under the India-Myanmar Free Trade Agreement, only 22 items can currently be exported and imported. These include grinding seeds, legumes and beans, fresh vegetables, fruit and soybeans. On the other hand, India delivers clothing, shoes, medicines, wool and technical goods to Myanmar. These items are in high demand in Myanmar. The Indian government continued its efforts to develop air, land and sea routes to strengthen trade relations with Myanmar, as well as to build a pipeline. Countries also signed a bilateral border agreement on border trade in 1994, which will be implemented from designated points in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. The two countries have mainly cooperated in agriculture, health, education, pharmacy, telecommunications, information technology, steel, oil, natural gas, hydrocarbons and food processing. As a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, there are effects and losses in shops, trade and travel between India and Myanmar, highlighting the agreements and trade between India and Myanmar on the