By Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Major business organizations of Myanmar and India have met in Yangon recently and outlined ways of cooperation in boosting bilateral trade.
Some trade items were introduced by the two sides during a meeting here between the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Indo-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, according to Saturday's official media.
The Myanmar delegation was headed by the UMFCCI President U WinMyint, while the Indian counterpart was led by GL Goenka.
The Myanmar side proposed to export to India agricultural produces, forest products, rubber products, handicrafts, gems, traditional medicines and foodstuff, while the Indian side to export to Myanmar machines and solar energy system technical-knowhow, the New Light of Myanmar said.
The two sides also discussed formation of a joint committee to deal with possible disputes between the two federations and export of goods through CIF system instead of FOB by Myanmar to India.
Myanmar and India have also been deliberating to upgrade its border trade carried out at Reedkhoda (India) and Tamu-Moye (Myanmar) to normal trade.
It was touched upon at the 3rd meeting of Myanmar-India Joint Trade Committee held in Myanmar's second largest city of Mandalay during Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh's second visit to Myanmar in October last year.
The meeting also covered bilateral cooperation in banking services, extension of export items and promotion of trade between the two countries and bilateral cooperation in electric and energy sectors
Besides, Myanmar and India have also agreed to maintain regular trade deal on beans and pulses with the Indian side proposing to purchase Myanmar quality beans and pulses at international current prices on a monthly basis.
The deal on the move was reached in last November between the UMFCCI and the State Trading Corporation of India during a visit to Nay Pyi Taw by Indian Deputy Minister of Customer Affairs, Foods and Public Distribution NK Raghupathy.
Meanwhile, Myanmar and India agreed to use euros and Singapore dollars in direct trade transactions as an alternative means to settle credit accounts between the banks of India and Myanmar when Myanmar is under United States' financial sanctions,
According to the UMFCCI, payments for bilateral trade will be conducted through the United Bank of India and three state-run Myanmar banks -- Myanmar Investment and Commerce Bank, Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and Myanmar Economic Bank.
Myanmar exported 1.34 million tons of various beans and pulses to India in the fiscal year 2007-08, earning about 700 million dollars, official statistics show.
The majority of these beans and pulses were exported to India through Singapore dealers to settle the letters of credit account in US dollars owing to the US trade sanctions.
Relations between Myanmar and India, which share a border of over 1,600 km, have been growing during the past few years with cooperation in all sectors, particularly in those of trade and economy.
Myanmar official statistics show that Myanmar-India bilateral trade reached 995 million U.S. dollars in 2007-08 with Myanmar's exports to India accounting for 810 million U.S. dollars and its imports from India 185 million dollars.
India stands as Myanmar's 4th largest trading partner after Thailand, China and Singapore and also Myanmar's second largest export market after Thailand, absorbing 25 percent of its total exports.
The Myanmar compiled figures also show that India's contracted investment in Myanmar reached 219.57 million U.S. dollars as of January 2008, of which 137 million were drawn into the oil and gas sector in September 2007.
Myanmar media stress continued flourishing of traditional culture
YANGON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar official newspaper the New Light of Myanmar Saturday stressed the need to strive for continued flourishing of Myanmar national culture amid infiltration of alien culture.
"At a time when efforts are being made for the emergence of a new modern and developed nation, it is incumbent upon the entire people to strive for continued flourishing of national characters, cultural traditions and human values and to guard against the infiltration and overwhelming of alien culture and customs with national awareness," the paper said in its editorial.
"By nature, Myanmar people value traditional culture. Their habit, custom and things Myanmar are found to be deeply entrenched in Myanmar culture, Myanmar characters and Myanmar style," the editorial noted, calling for efforts for flourishing of national prestige and integrity and codes of conduct while striving for preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage and national character.
The editorial appraised that at a time when "some global nations are striving for safeguarding of traditional culture and national character as the standard of their culture and traditions has been on the wane, Myanmar has been able to stand tall with fine historical traditions as she has firmly set up a grand and high level cultural heritage replete with essence."
The editorial added that "The national brethren of Myanmar have been handing over the cultural heritage they have further strengthened and enriched and added more value to it from generation to generation as a well preserved legacy."
As part of its endeavors in preserving and promoting traditions, culture and customs, Myanmar held traditional cultural performing arts competitions annually since 1993, participated by thousands of youth contestants, include contests of song, dance, composition, music and play at different stages such as professional, amateur, higher education and basic education levels.