It is official. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will pay a visit to India next week. The four-day visit will start on October 16 during which she will attend the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa. After the Summit, she will be on a state-visit from October 17.
This will be her first visit to the country after her party claimed victory in the recent elections.
''The state counsellor will be accompanied by several key ministers and senior officials,'' an MEA statement said. She will call on President Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister, as well as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. On the cards are also meetings with business leaders to enhance economic and commercial relations.
With Myanmar opening up—especially post the new government taking over—India is keen to ensure that the relationship between the two countries goes beyond just diplomatic ties. Commerce and trade opportunities are crucial, especially as shadow of the dragon looms large in Myanmar. While Indian companies do have a presence in the country, majorly in the pharmaceutical sector, there is a need for much more business engagement.
It is hoped that this visit will help bridge the gap. "The visit of the State Counsellor will provide an opportunity for the two sides to discuss issues of mutual interest and seek ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties,'' the MEA statement read.
This is the second high level meeting between the two countries. As President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw visited India—his first state visit overseas—in August.