Myanmar’s State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday left for an official visit to India, according to official sources. During her visit, Suu Kyi will first attend the Bimstec-Retreat and BRICS-Bimstec Leaders’ Outreach Summit scheduled to be held later on Sunday in Goa, Xinhua news agency reported.
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Bimstec, known as Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, groups Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. BRICS comprises five major emerging national economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
After the summit, the 70-year-old Nobel laureate will continue her three-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. Suu Kyi’s first trip to India since her National League for Democracy (NLD) government took office on April 1 came less than two months after Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw’s state visit to the neighbour in August.
On April 6 this year, the 70-year-old Nobel peace laureate assumed charge as State Counsellor as she was constitutionally barred from the presidency after becoming the country’s first female foreign minister on March 30. Suu Kyi will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and have meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
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Last month, Modi met Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the 14th India-Asean Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit in Vientiane, Laos. Suu Kyi spent a considerable part of her early life in India and was educated at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.
According to Myanmar official figures, India’s investment in Myanmar amounted to $732.64 million as of the end of August, the ninth in Myanmar’s foreign investors line-up since late 1988 when the country opened to such investment. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $1.711 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year.