India to Develop a Special Economic Zone in Myanmar
2 August 2016
The Government of India is planning to develop an economic hub in the port city of Sittwe, Myanmar, that will help boost India's connectivity to Southeast Asia.
Mr. VK Singh, India's Minister of State for External Affairs, extended an invitation for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries to participate in the planned special economic zone during the India-ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Laos in early August 2016.
He also emphasized India's commitment to building connectivity with the ASEAN region through implementation of its master plan on ASEAN connectivity, as well as the post-2015 agenda for ASEAN connectivity.
He urged Myanmar and Thailand to work together to find solutions to conclude the India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicles Agreement (IMT MVA), which could open connectivity with Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The IMT MVA is a landmark agreement that will allow passenger, personal and cargo vehicles to cross international borders and travel along designated key trade routes in the IMT region. This will reduce costly and time-consuming transshipment of people, vehicles, and goods at border crossings, making cross-border trade more efficient. It will be the first-ever cross-border transport facilitation agreement between the countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia.