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Border trade crucial for India's 'Act East' policy

Date 17-Jun-2016
Subject Border trade crucial for India's 'Act East' policy

New Delhi - ‘Enhancing India-Myanmar Border Trade: Policy and Implementation Measures’, a Study brought out by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), provides a detailed analysis for enhancing trade through land borders between India and Myanmar. It also suggests not only policy measures to achieve this objectives but also outlines relevant implementation measures.  Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Rita Teaotia highlighted that border trade between India and Myanmar through the land routes has seen a paradigm shift from Barter to Normal Trade and also abolishing the list of items restricted until recently. This effectively means that now India and Myanmar trade through the border can take place under the DFTP and AITGA. She also underscored the need for making trade an instrument for achieving developmental objectives in the border areas through employment generation. Investment in infrastructure on both sides was highlighted as an essential prerequisite for trade.

One of the mechanisms to increase border trade are the Border Haats that play a facilitating role of enabling local trade and increasing people-to-people contacts and promoting the well-being of the people in areas of difficult access across the borders of two countries. This is done through establishing a traditional system of marketing the local produce at local markets at the border. After realising the requirements of communities residing near the border, the two countries took the decision to set up the Border Haats. Currently, the authorities have agreed upon 10 locations to be set up as Border Haats.

Overall, to increase border trade which can be conducted in an unfettered way as ‘normal trade’ actions focusing on laboratory testing at border, warehousing and storage facilities, certificate of origin related facilities, integrated check posts, border haats, trade promotion activities and most importantly improving banking facilities and bridging information gap need to be stepped-up along with focusing on security situation in the region.

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