Myanmar’s Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs has said the country's relations with India is 'constantly improving.’
U Kyaw Zeya told the inaugural programme of the conference on " India-Myanmar relations: Way Forward" that bilateral trade has gone up several times from 323 million US dollars in 1998 to 2.65 billion US dollars last year.
"This has scope to improve more once more items are brought into the list and once border trade improves," U Zeya said.
He noted the rise in scholarships offered by India to students from Myanmar which have now gone up to more than 500.
"Nothing pleases me more than to see Myanmar students go to India, which is great," he said.
U Zeya stressed the importance of 'peace on our borders'.
"Our relations, our trade and people to people contact will all increase once our borders are peaceful," U Zeya said, echoing Indian envoy Vikram Misri's pitch for more cooperation on security matters to defeat extremist groups on the borders.
U Nyunt Maung Shein, MISIS chairman and former ambassador, pitched for more cooperation between think tanks of the two countries.
"That is very important to identify areas to improve cooperation and strategies to achieve the same," he said.
He said border regions of the two countries would soon become the 'main drivers ' in improving bilateral relations.
U Soe Myint, editor in chief of Mizzima, recalled that "India was a home for many of us in the pro-democracy movement."
" I was privileged to witness the strong support the Indian people gave to our democracy movement. The two countries, especially their people, must work together to strengthen the cause of democracy in our country," Soe Myint said.