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India & Myanmar Explore Collaboration Opportunities in Women Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Livelihoods

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Creating a roadmap for exploring opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Myanmar to empower women entrepreneurs and generate sustainable livelihoods for women was discussed at webinar organised by the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO). The interactive session was organised in partnership with the Indian Embassy in Myanmar, India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce (IMCC) and Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs’ Association (MWEA). H.E. Mr. Saurabh Kumar, IFS, Ambassador of India to Myanmar and Mr. Sunil Seth, President of India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce talked about growing business opportunities between the two countries.

Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi’s Act East policy focuses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. Its primary objective is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

The policy which was originally (1992) envisaged as an economic initiative, has now gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions including establishment of institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation thereby clearly highlighting the new approach of India.

Speaking on the webinar H.E. Mr. Saurabh Kumar, IFS, Ambassador of India to Myanmar said, “The cultural exchanges and historical contacts between our two countries are the base and core of our relationship. India and Myanmar both are part of BIMSTEC and Myanmar is the only country which comes under the ambits of our two foreign policies initiatives “Act East and Neighbourhood first”. Now we need to focus more on the business interactions and trade between the two countries.”

Giving a background to this webinar, FLO President Jahnabi Phookan said, “It gives me great pleasure to start our Dialogue Series with Myanmar first, among our Bimstec countries. In this new decade of 2020’s, let us forge ahead to work together for business opportunities and explore the potential for livelihood-linked and entrepreneurship-driven market forces to build a strong economic alliance for our women and create a cadre of women leaders in both our countries.

Sustainability as the way forward for a Self-Reliant India and that People, Planet and Profits can certainly co-exist together. Keeping in mind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, we want to take forward the 3 C’s for Myanmar: Commerce, Communication and Culture.

These are unprecedented times and we are all fighting the unseen enemy of Covid19. Sustainability has taken centre stage to create livelihood-linked and entrepreneurship-driven enterprises by women. Women must strive to be job creators and not job seekers.”

She added, “This session opens up a new door of opportunity of collaboration between the women entrepreneurs of India and Myanmar. With active support from Indian Embassy in Myanmar, IMCC & (MWEA), We are hopeful that we can create a roadmap towards creating business opportunities, areas for collaboration and also mentoring women from India and Myanmar.”

Mr. Sunil Seth, President of India Myanmar Chamber of Commerce said, “IMCC started 2 years back and we have around 119 members from Indian and Myanmar companies. Both India and Myanmar are fast developing economy, we see a great potential in trade between these two countries and there are many sectors and industries where we can work together for improving business relations and community engagements.”

Ms. Khin Thet Maw, General Secretary, MWEA said, “Our Association promotes women entrepreneurs by training, coaching and mentoring them. We also volunteer to support and motivate school girls toward education.”

Dharitri Patnaik, Chairperson FLO Bhubaneshwar Chapter was the Day Chair said, “We aim to explore partnership opportunities between the Women Chamber of Commerce of India and Myanmar, to come up with a collaborative platform to help Women Entrepreneurs in creating sustainable livelihoods.”

Some other eminent members of FLO and MWEA also shared industry-specific inputs during the webinar.

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SMEStreet is fast growing platform dedicated to entrepreneurs from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Committed to facilitate Knowledge & Networking for Business Growth, SMEStreet offers value added content which shows the actual voice of Indian MSMEs.

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