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Myanmar: India Inc's next big destination

Indian investments in the country stand at $273.50 mn, expected to soar to $2.6 bn

Nayanima Basu  |  New Delhi 

Chalo Myanmar seems to be the new mantra of Indian industry, which is keen to tap the market there. From infrastructure to energy to aviation, Indian companies are trying to mark their presence in that country. Although a late entrant, India now seems to be determined to make up for the lost time, while countries such as the US, Japan and China have already started making deep inroads there.

At present, Indian investment in Myanmar stands at around $273.50 million, which is expected to soar to $2.60 billion over the next few years. Some of the Indian companies present there include ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), Jubilant Oil and Gas, CenturyPly, among others. Other investors having operations in Myanmar are Tata Motors, Essar Energy, RITES, Escorts, Sonalika Tractors, Zydus Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Ranbaxy, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Shree Balaji Enterprises, Shree Cements, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, Cipla, Gati Shipping Ltd, TCI Seaways, Apollo, and AMRI.

During the recent visit of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to Myanmar, the government set up India-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee, to be co-chaired by Bharti Enterprises’ Sunil Bharti Mittal. The first meeting of the committee took place on June 7. (TRADE AND INVESTMENTS WITH MYANMAR)

“Out of Myanmar’s total trade volume of over $18 billion, India accounted for around 7.5 per cent (in 2011-12) and India is behind China, Singapore, Thailand and Japan in exports to Myanmar,” said D S Rawat, secretary-general of Assocham.

India-Myanmar bilateral trade expanded significantly from $12.4 million in 1980-81 to $1,070.88 million in 2010-11. With Myanmar’s exports to India at more than three times its import value, trade balance has been in Myanmar’s favour in the last several years, Rawat added.

In oil and gas, Myanmarese government has shortlisted 59 companies for submission of final bids for 18 onshore gas blocks on offer. Seven Indian companies are part of those shortlisted. OVL and GAIL have announced $1.33 billion investment in China-Myanmar gas pipeline project.

The construction of two parallel pipelines for gas and oil has been awarded to Punj Lloyd, involving investment worth $475 million to build the 200-km Kyaukphyu-Kunming oil and gas pipeline. Jubilant Energy India has also won the government’s contract worth $73 million for exploring an onshore block in central Myanmar.

India has also urged the Myanmarese government to revive discussions on the gas pipeline connection between the two countries through Bangladesh. For this, New Delhi has recommended the name of Essar Ltd.

Recently, the Myanmarese government opened tendering for exploration and production of onshore and offshore oil blocks. For the 18 onshore blocks, both public sector and private companies from India — ONGC-OVL, Jubilant, Cairn energy group, etc — have been qualified for second round of bidding process.

In order to create a better connectivity, India’s SpiceJet has asked for operating rights for flying to Yangon from Delhi through Dhaka (Bangladesh). India is also involved in the infrastructure development of Myanmar (inland waterways and upgradation of the Sittwe Port).

The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI) has conducted feasibility study to start a liner service between India and Myanmar.

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First Published: Sat, June 29 2013. 20:49 IST