To further the trade relationship between India and Myanmar around pulses, the industry body India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) has made a pitch for import and export between the two neighbouring countries in the Indian currency Rupee.
This recommendation was made by IPGA, the apex body for India’s pulses trade and industry, when it hosted Tin Htut Oo, Union Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Myanmar along with a trade delegation from the country, recently in Mumbai.
The industry body and the Myanmarese delegation discussed various opportunities, avenues and platforms wherein Myanmar and IPGA can collaborate and work together to address issues impacting the trade.
Earlier this year, in order to promote the growth of global trade with emphasis on exports from India and to support the increasing interest of the international trading community in the rupee, RBI decided to put in place an additional arrangement for invoicing, payment, and settlement of exports/imports in rupee.
Before implementing this mechanism, banks will require prior approval from the Foreign Exchange Department of Reserve Bank of India, Central Office in Mumbai.
Myanmar is one of the pulses suppliers to India, especially for pigeon peas, urad whole and moong beans, for over four decades.
India fulfils a sizable portion of its pulses needs via imports and spends a large part of its foreign exchange reserves on them.
“Bilateral trade between the two countries has the potential to grow exponentially. To further foster the trade relationship between India and Myanmar and augment the volume of the same, we at IPGA would recommend that imports and export between the two countries shall be conducted directly between the business entities located in India and Myanmar and the trade may be denominated in Indian Rupees,” said Bimal Kothari, Chairman, IPGA.
Terming Myanmar as a potential location for investment in the agriculture sector for Indian entrepreneurs, IPGA also recommended the government of Myanmar look at avenues to incentivise investments in Myanmar from the Indian side.
“For this, we will urge the government of Myanmar to conduct a series of roadshows in the major Indian cities highlighting the opportunities in the agricultural sector in Myanmar. We at IPGA would be happy to assist the Government of Myanmar in this endeavour. To take the idea forward I recommend a joint group of IPGA and Agriculture Ministry of Myanmar may be set up which shall contribute pro-actively to strengthen the relationship between the two countries further,” said Kothari.
Tin Htut Oo, Union Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, The Republic Union of Myanmar, said: “Government and private sector partnership is required to achieve the larger objective of food security. We are pleased to be aligned with the vision and mission of IPGA. We should work together towards enhancing the pulses sector as it has a very big potential in the future.”