India and Myanmar to strengthen Defence ties
India and Myanmar have announced plans to strengthen their defence cooperation during a joint consultative commission (JCC) meeting held in New Delhi.
JCC meeting was chaired by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin.
The meeting had released joint statement on various aspects. They are
- Both countries to work together on effective border management especially on the issue of cross-border insurgency and terrorism.
- India has reaffirmed to provide defence assistance program as part of its Goodwill Diplomacy to Myanmar in order to modernise their Armed Forces.
- Sharing of experiences: India to share its experience in dealing with emerging security challenges, military to military cooperation including in training.
- It also includes sharing experience in functioning in a democratic environment and cooperation in the field of Information Technology.
- Border issue: To hold first meeting of India-Myanmar Joint Boundary Working Group in New Delhi to address all outstanding boundary issues.
- Trade and business: Investments of Indian companies in sectors like power, ports, agro-industries, mining, forest products, construction industry, highways, consumer goods, oil and gas, manufacturing, plantation, hospitality and ICT will be encouraged.
It should be noted that Myanmar plays an important part in India’s decades-old Look East’ Policy (current Union government changed it as an Act East policy). Recently, defence cooperation between both neighbours has grown after changes in political reforms of Myanmar under President Thein Sein, which has made them less reliant on China.