Singh to arrive in Burma on Sunday for 3-day visit 

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will arrive in Burma on Sunday for important bilateral talks on Monday with President Thein Sein in Naypyitaw. On Tuesday, he will meet with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon to invite her to visit India, where she attended school.

Singh’s visit to Burma, the first by an Indian prime minister in 25 years, are designed to boost trade and improve communications between the two countries. Reduction of terms on a US$ 500 million line of credit, more airline and bus connections between the two countries, improvement of connecting railways, hydropower deals and new border trade points are expected to be discussed.

The aviation agreement will see flights to Burma from 18 Indian cities, many onwards to other destinations in southeast Asia. India will also propose a bus link to Mandalay via Moreh, according to The Times of India.

The possibility of commencing ferry services on the Kolkata-Yangon and Chennai-Yangon routes will also be under discussion.

India is also likely to announce a new line of credit for Burma during Singh’s visit, the newspaper said on Thursday. No amount was disclosed.

Indian companies like Gail, Essar and ONGC have made substantial investments in Burma’s offshore and on-shore blocks and in construction of natural gas pipelines. India hopes Burma will agree to further investments by Indian companies, both in the public and private sector, in the oil and natural gas sectors.

Singh and Thein Sein will also review implementation of the crucial Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, which will link the two countries into the Indian mainland. That project involves port development and inland waterways.

In 1992, Suu Kyi was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. India was an early supporter of the pro-democracy movement in Burma, but later it altered its policy and began to build closer ties with the former military regime, a move designed to counter Chinese influence in the region.

Source: Burma news

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