India invites CLMV countries to join International Solar Alliance

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 03, 2020 Published on December 03, 2020

Offers to enhance collaboration in the area of Covid-19 vaccine development, distribution

India has invited the CLMV countries — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam — to join the International Solar Alliance and the Resilient Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI), and has said that it is focussing on promoting connectivity to boost trade with the region.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan suggested that the countries join both the ISA and the RSCI in light of the fact that the CLMV region and India are working closely together to develop renewable sources of energy as well as form partnerships to penetrate global value chains.

The Minister was speaking at the ‘India-CLMV Business Conclave 2020: Building Bridges for Constructive Development’ jointly organised by the Commerce & Industry Ministry and industry body CII on Thursday.

“Efforts are underway to operationalise vital infrastructure links between CLMV countries and India for better economic integration,” Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said at the meet.

The Secretary highlighted the need to promote connectivity with the region and said the rail networks of the entire region could be knotted together to help promote tourism especially in terms of the Buddhist circuit.

The Trilateral Highway, connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand, will serve as a lifeline for the Mekong and North-East region of India, he added. There are now proposals to extend the highway to Laos.

Covid-19 cooperation

On India’s cooperation with the CLMV region, the Minister stated that right through the Covid-19 crisis, India provided medicines and medical supplies to the region. It also trained medical personnel from the region under the I-TEC scheme. “He mentioned that India seeks to enhance its cooperation and collaboration with the CLMV region in terms of developing a vaccine for Covid-19 and would be willing to share the vaccine as and when it is ready,” according to a statement from CII.

Myanmar’s Minister of Commerce Than Myint said that while bilateral trade between India and Myanmar had grown rapidly, it is still below potential and urgent steps needed to be taken to provide a boost to trade. He also mentioned that the two countries needed to cooperate more closely to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

India and the CLMV countries needed to work together to improve productivity in agriculture, promote infrastructure development within the region and improve the ease of doing business by promoting trade facilitation, said Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. She suggested that India and Lao PDR could cooperate more closely in areas such as IT, renewable energy, drugs and pharmaceuticals and infrastructure development.

Improving trade facilitation, facilitating logistics and the creation of a single window clearance mechanism to help boost trade could be other areas of focus between India and the region, said Chhuon Dara, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia. He stated that India could cooperate with the CLMV countries in the e-commerce and digital economy fields as well as help promote regional energy connectivity.

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Published on December 03, 2020
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