PM’s statement to media, during the joint press briefing with President of Myanmar (29 August 2016)
I am delighted to welcome H.E U Htin Kyaw, President of Myanmar, and his distinguished delegation to India.
Excellency, we are deeply honoured that you have chosen India for your first bilateral State visit abroad.
Myanmar is special for us.
It holds a unique position in India’s neighbourhood.
It is a land bridge that connects India with South East Asia.
The longstandingcultural and historical linkages between our societies form a solid foundation of our ties.
Buddhist principles of metta or loving kindness and Sarva Pantha Sambhava equality of all religions define our ways of life.
Your great nation has entered a new era.
An era defined by maturity of your leadership and commitment of your people to democracy.
And, which is accompanied by a clear vision and a strong desire of your leadership to make Myanmar a stable, and economically prosperous country in the region.
As the new government of Myanmar starts its journey to:
• Grow its agriculture;
• Develop its industry and infrastructure;
• Strengthen its education;
• Skill its youth;
• Build new institutions and strengthen existing ones;
• Secure its society;
• Seek a firm path to economic prosperity; and above all
• Pursue an ambition to build a modern nation;
Let me assure you that at every step of the way 1.25 billion people of India will stand by you- Both as partners and as friends.
President and I have just concluded useful discussions on the whole range of our bilateral engagement.
We recognised that our security interestsare closely aligned.
And, we agreed on the need to remain sensitive to each other’s strategic interests and concerns.
To this end, President and I agreed to work together for the safety and security of our people.
And, actively cooperate to combat the common challenges of terrorism and insurgent activity in our region.
I have also conveyed India’s full support to the peace process initiative under the ‘21st Century Panglong Conference.
India-Myanmar partnership is defined not just by good words and pure intent.
Its extent and depth is shaped by a robust development cooperation partnership, which has a strong “people first” philosophy.
India’s nearly 2 billion dollar development assistance is touching the lives of the common man of Myanmar.
Our engagement is supporting projects in connectivity, infrastructure, capacity building education, healthcare and many other sectors.
Some concrete examples of our partnership include:
• Kaladan project, with its port and waterway segment nearing completion later this year;
• India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway;
• Myanmar Institute of Information Technology;
• Advanced Centre of Agricultural Research and Education; as well as
• Smaller projects in health, education and industrial training sector.
The two operational agreements signed today will facilitate the construction and upgrading of 69 bridges and the Kalewa-Yargi road section of the Trilateral Highway Project.
We are also determined to deepen our cooperation in agriculture, banking, power, and energy.
The MoUs on Cooperation in Renewable Energy and on Traditional Systems of medicine will operationalize our cooperation in these areas.
We have also agreed to work towards a long-term and a mutually beneficial arrangement for trade in pulses.
In April this year, we took the small step of supplying power to Tamu in Myanmar.
I have told the President that we are willing to substantially scale up our supply of power.
India stands ready to enhance our development partnership with Myanmar.
And, do so as per the priorities of the Myanmar Government.
Culture is a key centrality in the foundation of our ties.
I am happy that our partnership is restoring Ananda temple in Bagan in Myanmar.
We are also ready to restore other historic monuments and pagodas, which were damaged in the earthquake which hit Myanmar just last week.
Your visit has been most timely.
And, our discussions today have enabled us to evolve a road map and an action agenda for our cooperation.
I look forward to working with you to take the relationship to new heights.
A bright future for Myanmar is not just your objective.
It is also our aspiration.
Once again, Excellency, a very warm welcome to India.
Thank you very much.