New Delhi: India will aim to deepen its political, cultural and economic linkages with key neighbour Myanmar during a rare visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the once reclusive state—the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 25 years. The last visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Myanmar was by Rajiv Gandhi in December 1987. It follows a visit to India by Myanmar’s first nominally civilian President Thein Sein in October—his first visit abroad after taking over the top job in March last year.
On Singh’s agenda are talks to consolidate ties in energy, security, connectivity, engagement between the business communities and think tanks of the two countries, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters in Delhi on Friday. Besides Singh’s official delegation that includes foreign minister S.M. Krishna, are a group of Indian business leaders representing the energy, information technology (IT), telecom, steel and agriculture sectors, including Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel Ltd and Atul Punj of Punj Lloyd Ltd.