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India Offers Myanmar $5 Million to Revive Apparel Factories

India’s Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles has offered Myanmar a $5 million line of credit, to aid in reviving 300 of the country’s abandoned apparel factories.

In a meeting last Friday between the minister, Anand Sharma, and Myanmar’s president, U Thein Sein, the two countries agreed that India will provide technical assistance, and also help to establish a Common Compliance Code, defining and enforcing best factory practices.

To ensure that the 300 remodeled factories are safely built, technical assistance to Myanmar’s builders will be contributed by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) and funded in part by Indian private sector companies. The Common Compliance Code, which will theoretically enforce Myanmar’s compliance with foreign export codes, was proposed by Sharma.

Myanmar’s government recently agreed to allow United Bank of India to establish their first office in Myanmar–one of many signs of a deepening, and potentially lucrative relationship between the two countries.

Sharma also announced that in November 2013, the India Trade Promotion Organisation will host a textile trade show in Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital, free of charge.