Indian industry must take up business opportunities coming up in Myanmar, Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Villur Sundarajan Seshadri said on Thursday.

Outlining the possible areas of interest, Seshadri said earlier this month the Myanmar Energy Minister had said that there would be open bidding for onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks later this year.

“He also said that the next tender will contain 10 onshore and offshore blocks. They are also known to be working on a mining policy, which is likely to be outlined later this year. Incidentally, event management has also become a big business. In addition, in the telecom sector, there are ambitious plans to open up and expand by 30 million lines in next five-six years,” the Envoy said.

He said though foreign banks were not allowed to open direct retail operations in Myanmar, the United Bank of India had already got a licence for opening a representative office and Exim Bank had applied for one. “I think one or two more Indian banks are showing interest,” he said.

Seshadri said Myanmar had taken a number of steps to attract foreign investment, including floating its currency, short-listing 12 Myanmar companies for starting insurance business and moving towards selling off Government businesses.

He said while details were not available as yet, reports indicated that foreign investment of up to 49 per cent was proposed in agriculture, livestock and offshore fishing. Besides, in high technology, Myanmar has allowed up to 100 per cent foreign investment.

“There is a minimum level of investment for foreign investment which is at 35 per cent,” he added.

Addressing the meeting, Chairman and Managing Director of Exim Bank T.C.A. Ranganathan said India needed to get out of the ‘No Action Only Talk’ in Myanmar.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 13, 2012)
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