Business Boom Beyond Border: a Case of India and Myanmar

Introduction Trade Is backbone and life blood of economic growth and development for any country. No country shall survive without trade In today’s liberalizing and globalization eras. The Importance of trade Is appreciated within the framework of comparative advantage of a region/country concerned. But trade is much more important to the land locked backward North East Region of India which characterized by low income, industrially backward and small size markets that fail to absorb sufficient volume of output which in turn leads to low incentive for inflow investment.

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North East Region of India is sharing 98 per cent of its border with neighboring counties biz. , Manner (smoke), China (smoke), Bhutan (km), Bangladesh (smoke), Nepal (1 ,751) as against 2 per cent of its border being shared with the only other states of India union . The total length of the international border is more than 5000 km but bordered with mainland India through 22 km wide Slugger “chicken neck” corridor In Assam and West Bengal border.

In this regard Santos Hazard pointed out that the North East Region Is closer to Hanoi than New Delhi. Besides, more than 70 per cent of the region Is hilly terrain and facing frequent natural calamities like landslide and floods. Due to above reasons, the region is poor in infrastructural facilities, technologically primitive and remained as underdeveloped region. Hence, the region tends to look more to neighboring countries than to mainland India for trade and commerce to sustain its economy and subsequently, economic growth.

In this context cross border trade with neighboring countries will have great significance to economic development and bring prosperity o the population of North East Region of India as well as border regions of the neighboring countries. Being the bordered with Manner, cross border trade has great significance and advantage to the Maniple as the state Is landlocked hilly backward state which Imported most of the dally essential basic commodities from outside. On the hand, border trade served as the lifebelt of Manner’s slaking economy due to financial sanctioned Imposed by west.

From this thought, Governments of India and Manner have agreed to make provision for Cross Border Trade and signed the trade agreement. Following the signing of the agreement one Land Custom Station (LLC) set up at More for smooth running of the border trade between the countries. Under the agreement trade is currently carried out through three designated border points one each in Maniple, Mozart and England. In Maniple the border trade centre is at More, and it is Katharine in Mozart and Lingua in England.

Another trading point at Pangs Pass in Mozart is currently under discussion. Right now only 40 items are allowed to be exported and Imported under the free trade agreement signed between India and Manner. India supplies clothes, shoes, medicines, woolens and engineering goods to Manner. These Items are In great demand In Manner. On the other hand, Manner exports to India include mustard seeds, pulses and beans, fresh vegetables, fruits and minor forest Tama sectors with a quantum Jump from about RSI. 5 Scores in 1995-96 to RSI. 46. 49 Scores and 62. 39 Scores in 1996-97 and 1997-98 respectively. Clearly border trade has attracted traders and customers from the both side. Keeping the above point in mind, the present paper attempts to assess and understand the significance of Indo- Manner Cross-Border Trade to North East Region of India with special reference to Maniple as the state is sharing 398 km land border with Manner and gate way of Indo-Manner Border Trade.

In fact Manner is the stepping stone to Indian’s ‘Look East Policy which seeks to develop strategic relation with all South East Asian countries, given the economic, security and political opportunities in offing. So, Indo- Manner Border Trade is very important as part of Indian’s bilateral trade relation with Manner and can be extended as the way to success for Indian’s ‘Look East Policy. Besides, the proposed transnational highway is expected to give desired boost to the North East India and connect with Thailand, China and other SEAN countries through Manner.

Given the fact that North Eastern Region is the corridor to the South-East Asian markets and the States like Maniple, England, Mozart and Raunchy Pradesh have a huge role to play in taking Indo-Manner trade relations to a higher growth trajectory. India and Manner have common features due to cultural links, trade and commerce, common interests in regional issues, economic and social system since aged old. Manner is the SEAN member-state having both maritime and land borders shared with India.

Besides, Manner is very important for Indian’s security due to its strategic location and gate way for India to enter into SEAN market through roadways and railways. So, Indo-Manner border trade was formalized after the signing of Indo-Manner Border Trade Agreement between Commerce Ministries of both countries on 21st January 1994 and the border trade was operations from 12 April 1995, through More Border in Maniple as part of bilateral trade relations between the countries.

The official cross border trade between the two countries takes mainly in More border town in Indian side and Tama town in Manner side. The trade also takes places through Champlain in Mozart and another Border Point in England. But More is the only feasible land route for trade which is relatively better connected with the commercial hub Mandalay in the heartland of Manner and serving as bridge to the other South East Asian countries which astride the proposed South East Asian Super Highway through More border town in Maniple and Tama town in Manner side.