Trade between India and Myanmar is estimated to have fallen short of the one billion dollar target during 2006-07 due to lack of interest among traders of the two neighbouring countries.
"Although the final figures of bilateral trade is yet to be released, we expect the trade figures would be restricted to just $650 million during 2006-07, falling short of $1 billion target," Indo Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industries President GL Goenka said in Ludhiana.
Blaming lack of interest among Indians to invest in Myanmar, Goenka said: "Had Indians shed their inhibitions regarding Myanmar, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries would have risen considerably." Trade between India and Myanmar stood at $341.40 million in '04-05 which jumped to $557.68 million in '05-06. Out of total trade between two countries, India's exports to Myanmar stands at just $ 80 million, he said.
To boost bilateral trade, the chamber is organising a small & medium enterprises exhibition - SME India 2007 at Yangon in Myanmar on November 25.
"This exhibition is being organised to attract the attention of Indian SME to tap business opportunities in Myanmar. We are of the opinion that from this exhibition, we would do a total business of $25 million," Goenka said.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar government has sought Indian investments in areas including pharmaceutical, cement, steel, fertiliser, IT and food processing.
"The government is willing to strengthen trade links with India and we are taking steps such as extending airlines, land routes etc for boosting trade," Myanmar Ambassador Kyi Thein said in Ludhiana.