By WILLIAM BOOT / THE IRRAWADDY| June 5, 2012
Can India finally overcome years of a stuttering “look east” policy and challenge China’s business dominance in Burma?
New Delhi’s belated high-profile official visit after numerous Western leaders had already trail-blazed to Naypyidaw seems to sum up its lack of success in gaining a firm foothold in Burma.
In spite of the political decision in the 1990s to ditch support for Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in favor of the junta generals, India is today still only ranked as Burma’s 13th largest trading partner, with far smaller countries like Thailand and Singapore managing much more business success.
Much trumpeted Indian transport infrastructure projects in Burma’s southwest and northeast are far from nearing completion, and the Chinese are tapping the Burmese gas and other natural resources which India craves.
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India’s ‘Discovery’ of Burma Still Waiting for the Train to Leave the Station