Oct 01: The 19th round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Myanmar was held through virtual mode on October 1, 2020. The Indian delegation was led by Foreign Secretary, Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla and the Myanmar delegation was led by Permanent Secretary, U Soe Han.
During the consultations, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of relations, including border cooperation and upgradation of border infrastructure, status of India’s ongoing development projects in Myanmar, trade and investment ties, power and energy cooperation, consular matters and cultural cooperation, including the ongoing restoration work on earthquake damaged pagodas in Bagan. Cooperation in regional and multilateral fora was also discussed. Both sides expressed satisfaction that despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, meetings in several areas, including power, energy etc., have been held through virtual mode, reflecting the depth of the bilateral engagement. It was noted that the next Joint Trade Committee Ministerial Meeting to be held on October 20, will be useful in further strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations.
Both sides also held extensive discussions on the challenges posed by COVID-19 and ways to mitigate its impact, including through vaccine development, supply of medicines, equipment and technology and capacity building.
Foreign Secretary reiterated the priority India attaches to its partnership with Myanmar in accordance with India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies. He stated that India remained committed to enhancing its multifaceted cooperation with Myanmar and also to explore new avenues of cooperation.
The Permanent Secretary reaffirmed Myanmar’s commitment to further strengthen its time tested partnership with India for the mutual benefit of the two countries. He also expressed appreciation for the COVID related and development assistance extended by India to Myanmar. He thanked India for providing debt service relief under the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, for the period May 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations at a mutually convenient date.