The historic restoration of official ties between India and Burma has begun in earnest with Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on his maiden visit there. Accompanying the Prime minister’s delegation is a host of industry leaders as well.
Tata Motors had already initiated a soft approach, but surprisingly came trumps up in 2010, when it successfully signed a turnkey agreement with Myanmar Automobile and Diesel Industries Ltd (MADI) for setting upa heavy truck assembly plant at Magwe, located in central Myanmar.
As part of the 14 memorandum of understandings between the two neighbors of the Indian sub-continent, Tata announced that it has signed an agreement with Burma’s Apex Greatest Industrial Company (AGI) for promoting and distributing its range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Myanmar as well.
The Burmese government made good use of the $20 million line of credit granted by India to invest in this assembly plant. Incidentally, the plant was inaugurated in 2010 and is fully operational now.
The state of the art chassis and frame assembly line has the capacity to produce approximately thousand cars annually with the capacity to manufacture 5,000 per year should the demand grow.
The easing up on sanctions as Burma slowly shifts a vice like dictatorship to democracy will ensure that other industries, particularly the automobile industry would invest there and convert the country to a mini hub for countries like Thailand and other neighbors.