“India needs Myanmar, and Myanmar also needs India, and that is the common ground,” an editorial in The New Light of Myanmar, the state-run newspaper, said on Tuesday.
“As for Myanmar, India is a giant neighbor whose long experience in democracy will be valuable for the democratization process that needs international cooperation to achieve further acceleration,” said the state-run newspaper, while praising Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's three-day state visit which ended on Tuesday.
“Besides, India is one of the global emerging markets with its consumption power in multiple sectors growing bigger and bigger every year,” the editorial said, describing India as an “energy-hungry giant.”
“This giant can help us create more job opportunities, acquire technology and set up light and medium industries through investment in multiple sectors,” the editorial said.
The editorial reviewed Indian assistance on infrastructure projects connecting the border areas of the two countries.
It said Singh’s visit, and President Thein Sein earlier visit to India, usher in a new era of greater cooperation. India’s relations with Burma were frosty during the period of repression by the former military junta, but began to thaw in the late 90s in response to India’s “Look East” policy, which was seen as a way to blunt China’s dominance in Burma’s affairs.
During the state visit, Singh and Thein Sein signed a dozen agreements covering transportation, border development, high tech development and increased trade, which the two countries agreed could double to US$ 3.5 billion by 2015.
India awarded Burma a $500-million credit line to invest in border area development, air services, setting up of a Myanmar Institute of Information and Technology, implementation of cultural exchange programs (2012-2015), and the establishment of an advanced center for agricultural research and a joint trade and investment forum.
Singh also met Burma's opposition leader and parliament member Aung San Suu Kyi during the visit. She accepted an invitation to visit India to deliver a Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture lecture.
Singh was the first Indian prime minister to have visited Burma in 25 years since Rajiv Gandhi.