On March 29, 2023 the Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) welcomed Myanmar International Freight Forwarders Association (MIFFA) at FFFAI Head Quarters in Mumbai and later both the associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) . The MoU was signed by the FFFAI Chairman Mr. Shankar Shinde and MIFFA Chairman Dr. Aye Aye in presence of other Office Bearers/Executive Committee Members of FFFAI and MIFFA. The primary objective of the MoU is to facilitate the bilateral trade between India and Myanmar.
As per the MoU both the associations will record and form the basis of understanding between the Parties to strengthen, promote and develop co-operation between the two associations to benefit Members and trade.
Major areas of the activities would include: Trade support /networking; technology exchange; women participation and empowerment; youth promotion; Members support; skill development/training; business opportunities and Infrastructure development towards better connectivity opportunities for Members any other areas of cooperation.
“By signing this MoU we have agreed that both the associations will work together in the spirit of joint cooperation and will endeavour to assist each other in relation to matters contemplated under this MoU on best efforts basis for the mutual benefit. Thereby we will support the mission and goals of each of the associations to achieve the beneficial objectives agreed by us for our members,” informed Mr Shinde.
MIFFA delegates who visited the FFFAI Office were Ms. Hla Hla Yee (Secretary General); Ms. Ohn Mar Maw (Joint Secretary); Mr. Pyei Phyo Aung (Auditor); Ms. Yin Yin Htay (Executive Committee Member); Ms. Moh Moh (Member); Mr.Tun Tun Linn (Member); Ms. Phyo Thanda (Member); Mr. Kyaw Thet Linn (Member) and Ms. Kyipyar Min Tun (Member).
MIFFAI extended an invitation to FFFAI for a visit to Myanmar. The MIFFA delegates also had good interactions with the FFFAI Women’s Wing. Lead by Ms. Chaitaly Mehta (Convenor) and Mrs. Philomena V. Pereira (Mentor) the FFFAI Women’s Wing would be shortly planning to take an Indian delegation to Myanmar to explore future opportunities and business networking.
It is pertinent to mention that Myanmar has been one of the largest exporters of pulses and beans to India, while India exports mostly pharma products to Myanmar. Myanmar is strategically located for India as the country shares a land border of over 1643 kms with Myanmar as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four northeastern states Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, have a boundary with Myanmar.
Currently, the Government of India’s focus is for enhancing India’s cooperation with Myanmar in line with its ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighborhood First’ Policies. It is also pertinent to mention that India shares religious, linguistic and ethnic ties with Myanmar which is the only ASEAN country adjoining India and, therefore, is a gateway to South East Asia.
To resolve the logistics infrastructure and connectivity issues currently India is building USD 484 million Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, which will connect India’s Kolkata Port with Myanmar’s Sittwe Port. In addition, multimodal corridors are also being created to promote regional connectivity and development. These projects would further strengthen the bilateral trade between India and Myanmar. Logistics service providers on the other hand are focusing on setting up infrastructure in this region in view of the fact there are huge requirements of proper warehousing, cold storage and other logistics facilities.