For smoother and faster movement of goods between India, Myanmar and Thailand a proposed highway is expected to be opened soon for traffic, the Indian government has announced.
Indian Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said this on October 22 and added that the Indian government is presently working with the governments of Myanmar and Thailand to develop the trilateral highway which hopefully will be completed soon.
The Minister revealed this at a CII organised business conclave of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Mayanmar in Delhi. The idea of the highway - from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand, via Myanmar - was conceived at the trilateral ministerial meeting on transport linkages in Yangon in April 2002. It represents a significant step in establishing connectivity between India and South East Asian countries.
The Minister said that Myanmar is source of one-third of India's imports in pulses and one-fifth in timber. India's main exports to these countries include pharma, machinery, vehicles, plastics and cotton while imports are pulses, rubber, wood, mineral oil and spices.
Emphasising on the need to enhance road, air and sea connectivity, he added that India is also working to develop the Kaladan multi-modal transport corridor which comprises waterway and roadway.
Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe port in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe to Mizoram via river and road transport. Sharma said the project and the transport corridor will connect these countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Mayanmar) with the North-Eastern part of India.
Indian government is also looking at connecting India and Myanmar through a sea link, he added. Connectivity by air, road and sea in important. Entire north east India wis progressing but still lagging behind the rest of the country because of geography, constraints of infrastructure, the Minister reasoned.