India enters border agreement with Myanmar

The countries share land border of over 1,600 km spanning across four north-eastern states of India - Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram as well as a maritime boundary along the Bay of Bengal

January 3, 2018

The deal will strengthen existing border rules through provision of valid passports and visas to people residing along the border, which will enhance economic interactions

The agreement will help boost the economy of India’s northeastern states, while safeguarding the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border

India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar and the tenth largest investor in the country with an approved investment of around US$740.6 million as of mid-2017

Besides common cultural affiliations, religions, languages and ethnicities since ancient times, India is Myanmar’s fifth largest trading partner and tenth largest investor

The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an agreement between the Governments of India and Myanmar on land border crossing, according to an official announcement on January 3rd 2018. The countries share land border of over 1,600 km spanning across four north-eastern states of India – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram as well as a maritime boundary along the Bay of Bengal. The deal will facilitate regulation of already existing free movement rights for people residing along the border. This will be done through the provision of valid passports and visas, which will enhance bilateral economic and social interactions.

The arrangement will enable improved connectivity, especially between the people of the north-eastern states of India with the people of Myanmar. The agreement will help boost the economy of India’s northeastern states, while safeguarding the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border that are accustomed to free movement across the land border. The close proximity has led to India and Myanmar sharing common cultural and ideological affiliations, religions, languages and ethnicities since ancient times. Various bilateral institutional mechanisms and high level delegations based on the Act East Policy have further cemented these ties.

The border agreement come ahead of the visit of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to New Delhi next week along with nine others ASEAN leaders who have been invited as chief guests for India’s Republic Day parade. In recent times, India and Myanmar have collaborated in the fields of infrastructure development, trade and commerce, consular services as well as security and defence. India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar and the tenth largest investor with an approved investment of around US$740.6 million as of mid-2017. Steady growth of this strategic relationship requires seamless border movement, which the border agreement aims to achieve.

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