YANGON — India’s Tata Motors is hoping to expand its presence in the local market by selling military transport vehicles to Myanmar after securing a similar agreement with the Royal Thai Army, according to a report in Business Insider India.
Vernon Norohna, the automotive company’s vice-president, said the company had was supplying the Thai military with 2.5 tonne light utility vehicles with the capacity to carry 11 soldiers each, a product already in wide service in the Indian Armed Forces.
“Besides Thailand, we are also looking at Myanmar as a market to supply military vehicles,” Mr Norohna told Business Insider.
In March 2010, Tata Motors inked an agreement to build a heavy vehicle factory in Magway Region in partnership with Myanmar Automobile and Diesel Industries Ltd, a state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Industry.
The company began selling commercial vehicles locally in 2013 with the opening of a dealership in Yangon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township, in partnership with Apex Greatest Industrial Co. Ltd.
Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief, has in recent years launched a procurement drive aimed at upgrading the capacity of the country’s military, one of the largest standing armies in the region but with a fighting force hampered by poor training and antiquated equipment.
In 2015, Min Aung Hlaing made official overseas visits to Pakistan, Serbia and Israel to inspect defence materiel. Asked several times last year whether he had any aspirations to seek Myanmar’s presidency, the commander-in-chief said he was focused on brining the country’s defence capabilities into the modern era.