India, one of Asean’s six partner countries, has granted a US$500-million loan to Myanmar, part of which will be used to finance construction of a 3,200-km trilateral highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand, Indian ambassador to Bangkok, Anil Wadhwa said.
The route, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will run from India’s northeastern states into Myanmar, where over 1,600km of roads will be built or improved.
“This will connect India with Myanmar all the way down to Mandalay. After that, we will connect with a place where the Thai authorities are building a highway, which is 63km from the Thai border into Myanmar,” the ambassador said this in an interview with Thailand newspaper, The Nation.
“The trilateral highway project will allow freight and container trucks to move across the borders from India to Myanmar and Thailand via Chiang Rai and border towns.
“It will play a crucial role in boosting trade and investment flows in the three countries, creating jobs and other benefits,” Wadhwa said.
“We expect this to benefit India’s northeastern region as well, as four of our states are on the border with Myanmar, especially if there is connectivity to ports like the planned Dawei deep-sea port and industrial estate in Myanmar.”
Other sources of funds for the project include the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
The trilateral highway will form the so-called East-West economic corridor linking India with Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In addition, there is also a North-South corridor linking southern China with the rest of mainland Southeast Asia from Myanmar and Thailand all the way down to Malaysia and Singapore.
Myanmar is opening up!! Watch for investment opportunities!