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Exim Bank to fund projects in BIMST-EC countries

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Mr T.C. Venkat Subramanian (right), Chairman and Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of India and Mr Rahardjo Mustadjab, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai at a meeting organised by the India-Asean-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Chennai on Friday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , June 25

THE Exim Bank of India has taken steps to make available credit to companies that want to do trade and project development in the BIMST-EC countries. (BIMST-EC stands for `Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Co-operation.)

A $50 m `guarantee and LC confirmation facility' has been extended to the Exim Bank of Thailand. A proposal for extending a Line of Credit for financing the project for `upgradation of the Yangon-Mandalay Railway System' and another project for development of IT and communication technology in Myanmar, is being worked on, Mr T.C. Venkat Subramanian, Chairman and Managing Director of the Exim Bank of India, said here on Friday.Mr Venkat Subramanian was speaking at a function held for the release of an occasional paper entitled, `BIMST-EC Initiative: A study of India's Trade and Investment Potential with Select Asian Countries'.

Pointing out the potential for intra BIMST-EC co-operation, Mr Venkat Subramanian said that the Exim Bank was there to assist Indian companies with their financing needs.

The study notes that some of the important areas of co-operation are gems and jewellery, textiles and natural gas. Pointing to the already high level of intra-regional trade in precious and semi-precious stones, the study says, "clearly, joint strategies to enhance growth of this trade will benefit all participants."

Similarly, noting that Bangladesh and Myanmar are sitting on vast reserves of natural gas, the study says that collaboration/cooperation among the member countries through joint development of natural gas infrastructure facilities, including gas field development and establishment of natural gas pipeline networks or LNG facilities could result in better use of energy resources."

India's trade with BIMST-EC countries increased from $ 2.2 billion in 1997-98 to $ 3.7 b in 2002-03, the study says.

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