India courts Myanmar as PM Singh visits

Featured - May 29th, 2012
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India has signed agreements with Myanmar in the first visit by an Indian leader in 25 years, hoping to promote its presence among rival countries hoping to tap the previously isolated market and its natural resources.

Following political reforms that took place in the country, the US and EU decided to suspend sanctions on the once junta-ruled country, opening its market to potential investments from around the region.

Prime Minister Mammohan Singh met with Reformist President Thein Sein to pursue agreements that include a $500 million line of credit, development of border regions, investment promotion and agricultural research assistance. The two countries also agreed to enhance transport links along their shared border to promote trade and tourism after a history of unstable relationships since their independence from British colonizers in the 1940s.

Several leaders have visited Myanmar to engage the country in talks. South Korean president Lee Myung-bak met with Aung San Suu Kyi to ask for its cooperation on North Korea. Japan recently negotiated an investment treaty with Myanmar, the only ASEAN country it had not signed an investment pact with.

PM Singh was also due to meet Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon.