BIMSTEC Senior Officials Visit the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Section of the Trilateral Highway Project
20 March 2014
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) senior officials visited the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road Project in Myanmar on 20 March 2014, at the southeastern end of the Trilateral Highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. Under this project, a total of 45.5 kilometers (km) of national highway will be upgraded between Myawaddy and Thingannyinaung, and constructed between Thingannyinaung and Kawkareik. The Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Bridge will also be rehabilitated.
The Government of Thailand is financing the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road Project through a grant of $38 million under the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA). The Department of Highways of Thailand is implementing the project.
The Trilateral Highway Project is an ambitious initiative to develop the 3,200 km highway network linking India, Myanmar, and Thailand, and is the centerpiece of trilateral cooperation designed to promote multimodal transport and other linkages. Completion of enhanced transport connectivity and linkages among the three countries is expected to substantially boost trade among them, and contribute toward development of a future free trade agreement under BIMSTEC.
The Government of Myanmar has requested India to help develop the northern section of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar, while Thailand is working to extend the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor from Mae Sot to connect to the Trilateral Highway at Myawaddy. Trilateral Highway Task Force meetings have gathered regularly to accelerate progress in developing the highway and ensure its early completion.
BIMSTEC officials visited the road project after participating in a workshop in Mae Sot, Thailand, where they discussed findings of the first phase of updating the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study (BTILS) Report. The Workshop assessed recent developments in the trade and transport environment and needed changes in strategies and policies. A long list of BIMSTEC transport connectivity and logistics projects was formulated, which will play a key role in enhancing BIMSTEC connectivity.