ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India, China, Myanmar

Myanmar’s recent opening up to the outside world has presented India with a new opportunity. In May, Manmohan Singh made the first visit to Myanmar by an Indian prime minister in 25 years and signed agreements on education, trade, culture and infrastructure. India can seize a prime opportu­nity to revitalise its relations with south-east Asian countries through the new gateway of Myanmar, and in the process balance China’s growing influence in the region.

For now, China has much greater influence in Myanmar. In the year that ended in March 2011, China was Myanmar’s largest trade partner; their $4.7 billion bilateral trade accounted for more than a third of Myanmar’s total trade. And it was more than triple the value of India’s $1.4 billion trade with Myanmar. China is also the top foreign investor in Myanmar, with total commitments thus far of $8.3 billion, compared to India’s $189 million, according to available data.

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