MUMBAI : Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI) and its training arm Indian Institute of Freight Forwarders (IIFF) in association with Myanmar International Freight Forwarders’ Association (MIFFA) organised a webinar to explore trade opportunities between India and Myanmar in line with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The webinar also focussed on multimodal connectivity and logistics challenges as well as facilities opening up between the two countries.
It is pertinent to mention that BIMSTEC is an international organization of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Mr. Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI and Dr. Aye Aye, Chairman of MIFFA delivered the inaugural speech highlighting growing importance of bilateral trade between India and Myanmar. They welcomed the trade and appealed to explore new business opportunities concerning logistics services.
The panel speakers were Mr. Aung KhinMyint – Former Chairman, MIFFA; Mr. Kyaw Lwin Oo – Vice Chairman, MIFFA; Mr. S Ramakrishnan, Advisor, FFFAI and Mr. Sohel Kazani –Executive Committee Member, FFFAI.
Mr S Ramakrishna highlighted the recent developments in Indian Customs as far as proactive industry-friendly policy initiatives and streamlining the customs clearance are concerned. He emphasised on the initiatives like Customs EDI, ICEGATE, Single Window, Faceless Assessment, e-Sanchit, Turant Customs, RMS, etc, which are very positively impacting the customs clearance/logistics operations in the country.
Mr Sohel Kazani spoke on the Agreement framework of BIMSTEC, the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project and Future Trade Potential between India and Myanmar.
He pointed out that Apart from all the shortcomings and future planning, India could unleash the capability of the northeastern states of India by connecting to the Sittwe Port of Myanmar which is closer to the northeastern region than Kolkata.
In his opinion, BIMSTEC would also help India integrate itself with ASEAN’s Master Plan of Connectivity 2025. The three major projects namely, India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and the BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement, that India has already invested and showed potential.
According to him, the absence of free trade agreements and the lack of seamless movement of goods and services within the region explain low levels of intra-regional trade.
Closing remarks were given by Ms. May OoKhine, Vice Chairman, MIFFA and Mr. Dushyant Mulani, Chairman Elect, FFFAI.
The webinar was moderated by Mr. Tej Contractor, President, IIFF and Ms. WutHmone, Executive Committee Member, MIFFA. Ms. Ohmar Maw, Secretary, MIFFA and Mr. Vinod Sharma, Hony. Secretary, FFFAI proposed a Vote of Thanks.