New Delhi: The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, reached Yangon on the second day of his state visit to Myanmar. He addressed a gathering comprising largely people of Indian origin and Indian expatriates at a reception hosted by Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said India’s “Act East” and “Neighbourhood First” policies prioritise India’s immediate region, and Myanmar is a focus country for both. These policies have helped India adjust to a world in which it is among the leading economies, and are also enabling its neighbours to engage in partnerships for growth and development. Opportunities have expanded beyond trade and investment to energy and electrical grids, communications and transport, and people-to-people ties.
The President said development cooperation has become an important component of India’s external relations, especially in the neighbourhood. India shares its expertise by building infrastructure, creating capacity, and setting up institutions. It does so, the President said, with the conviction that a peaceful, prosperous and stable neighbourhood is in everyone’s interest. While implementing such projects, India’s approach is in line with the priorities of its partners – ensuring respect for rule of law and good governance; insisting on transparency; committing to transfer skills and technologies to local communities; ensuring projects are environmentally and socially-responsible; and, most important, ensuring such projects do not create unsustainable burdens. The President said that these precepts are essential parameters of responsible project development and he was glad that India-Myanmar bilateral cooperation is designed in accordance with them.
The President noted that Myanmar is undergoing multiple and simultaneous transitions towards democracy, peace and economic development. As a sister democracy and a civilisational friend, India is fully conscious of the challenges Myanmar faces. Over the last 70 years, India has put in place systems and structures of governance that have enabled diversity to serve the cause of national progress. It is in this spirit of good neighbourly cooperation that India is ready to offer Myanmar any assistance towards addressing issues of national reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development.