New Delhi, May 23: India planned to extend the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam in the second phase.
The India–Myanmar–Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway is a highway under construction that will connect Moreh in India with Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar.
The road is expected to boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia. India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The proposed 3,200 km route from India to Vietnam is known as the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC).
The Indian foreign ministry had already invited tender for selection of a contractor for constructing 69 bridges, including approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa section of the trilateral highway in Myanmar.
“India have now started the construction of the road and 69 bridges in Myanmar, and it is expected to be completed by 2019.,”
India, under the present BJP-led NDA government, is also actively pursuing to implement the Act East Policy aimed at enhancing relations with ASEAN and other East Asian nations through trade and commerce.
The trilateral highway will provide access for goods from the northeastern region and other parts of India to markets of ASEAN countries through a land route once Myanmar is connected by road to Thailand.
The proposed trilateral strategic agreement will facilitate movement of vehicles linking Manipur's Moreh (India) to Mae Sot (Thailand) via different routes in Myanmar.
During the visit of Thailand Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-O-Cha to India in June, both the countries agreed to expedite the construction of India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and hold negotiations on the India-Myanmar-Thailand motor vehicles agreement.
The trilateral highway, which is under renovation, includes 73 bridges and is expected to boost communication between the Northeast and Southeast Asia.
India provides funding for the renovations of 73 dilapidated bridges along the route that were originally built during World War II.
The highway will be pass through Moreh (India) – Tamu (Myanmar) – Kalewa (Myanmar) – Yagyi (Myanmar) – Monywa (Myanmar) – Mandalay (Myanmar) – Meiktila (Myanmar) – Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar) – Payagyi (Myanmar) – Theinzayat (Myanmar) – Thaton (Myanmar) – Hpa'an (Myanmar) – Kawkareik (Myanmar) – Myawaddy (Myanmar) – Mae Sot (Thailand).