News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

Year:
August 2018

India, Myanmar Open International Border Checkpoints

The Governments of India and Myanmar implemented the Land Border Crossing Agreement, marking the occasion with the simultaneous opening of the Tamu (Myanmar)-Moreh (India) and Rihkhawdar (Myanmar)-Zowkhawtar (India) international border checkpoints. Signed on 11 May 2018, the opening of the India-Myanmar land border crossings allows people from both countries and third countries holding valid passports and visas to cross the border and travel to any point of Myanmar or India.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Act East Policy

August 2018

Commentary: Uncorking the Logistic Competencies of India's Northeastern Regions

The author highlights how fast-paced infrastructure development could help unlock competencies of India’s northeast region. With the Government of India's focus on promoting the northeastern region as a key trade gateway, projects such as the 1,400 kilometer India-Myanmar-Thailand highway and the SASEC Road Connectivity project, promises to boost the country's trade and commerce, and enhance India’s logistics capabilities.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, SASEC, Road, Logistics

August 2018

Assam Aims for Air Cargo Connectivity with the ASEAN

Mr. Chandra Mohan Patowary, Industries and Commerce Minister of Assam, India, emphasized the State Government's commitment to reopening air cargo trade routes to increase the state's economic prosperity. The Assam government plans to link its largest city, Guwahati, to the seven capital cities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. He also shared that the Assam Industrial Development Cargo is working on an air cargo terminal project

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Tags: India, ASEAN, Trade, Connectivity, Myanmar, Thailand

June 2018

SASEC Countries to Gain by Improving Transport Times

By investing in infrastructure that improves connectivity and reduces transport times to key markets, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries could reap major benefits, a new Asian Development Bank study says.

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Tags: SASEC, ADB, Trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, World Bank

May 2018

Planned Multimodal Linkages to Turn Silchar into a Transport Hub

Plans are being drafted to turn Silchar, a city in Assam, India, into a logistics hub. Multimodal transport linkages from Silchar to Myanmar and to Bangladesh are being considered, in line with the Government of India's "Act East" policy. These will decongest Guwahati and place Silchar at the forefront of growing economic relations between India's northeastern states and Bangladesh and the countries in Southeast Asia.

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Tags: India, Act East Policy, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Economic Corridor Development

May 2018

Myanmar Seeks to Increase Export Volume to Nepal

The Governments of Myanmar and Nepal are planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to boost their economic ties and increase trade. According to Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe, Myanmar is seeking to increase its export volume to Nepal. Demand for imported beans and pulses from Myanmar is on the rise in Nepal.

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Tags: Myanmar, Nepal, Bilateral Trade

May 2018

BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation Holds First Meeting

The BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation held its first meeting on 10-11 May 2018 in New Dehi, India. The Meeting discussed progress in customs cooperation among BIMSTEC countries, and finalized the draft text of the 'Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters' for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Customs, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trade

May 2018

India, Myanmar Sign Agreement on Land Border Crossing

The Governments of India and Myanmar inked the Agreement on Land Border Crossing during the visit of Ms. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, to Myanmar on 10-11 May 2018. This landmark agreement allows people from both countries to cross the land border with passport and visa, for purposes such as availing health and education services, pilgrimage, and tourism.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Tourism

May 2018

Government of India to Develop India-Bhutan Railway Connectivity

The Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India is reviewing feasibility studies for potential railway linkages between India and Bhutan. The studies conducted by the Northeast Frontier Railway include five possible routes.

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Tags: India, Bhutan, Transport, Rail, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal

April 2018

India Highway Authority Signs Agreement for International Highway Project

The National Highways Authority of India signed on 11 April 2018 an agreement to widen the Yagyi-Kalewa section of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. Construction is also underway for the Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong road under the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program. These projects will improve the flow of vehicular traffic and enhance trade, health services, and tourism in India, Myanmar, and Thailand.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, SASEC, Transport, Road

March 2018

Locomotives Boost India-Myanmar Cooperation

Providing a boon to relations between India and Myanmar, Indian Railways delivered 18 AC/DC 1350 horsepower diesel electric locomotives to Myanmar Railways six months ahead of schedule. Funded with an Indian line of credit, the fuel-efficient locomotives are fitted with micro-processor control-based systems, equipped with the latest technology, and runs at a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

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Tags: Myanmar, India, Transport

January 2018

Land Border Crossing Agreement between India and Myanmar Approved

India's Union Cabinet has approved the Land Border Crossing Agreement between India and Myanmar. The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people in the border areas, as well as movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas, encouraging economic and social interaction between the two countries.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Trade

December 2017

SASEC Investment Grows to $10.74 billion

The SASEC Program ended 2017 on a high note, having launched the SASEC Vision, welcomed Myanmar as a full member of SASEC, invested almost $1 billion in three new projects during the year, and seen total program investment rise to $10.74 billion for 49 loan/grant projects. The SASEC Vision paved the way in 2017 for strengthened partnership and economic cooperation between the countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia, by leveraging opportunities and synergies found in natural resources.

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Tags: SASEC, Myanmar, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Economic Corridor Development

December 2017

Myanmar Launches Authorized Economic Operators Program

Myanmar Customs Department met with import and export companies, freight forwarders, and government departments to raise public awareness for its Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, initiated in line with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Trade in Goods Agreement, the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, and World Customs Organization international standards.

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Tags: ASEAN, Authorised Economic Operators, Customs, Myanmar, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WCO, WTO

December 2017

India Fast-tracks International Highways in South Asia

India's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) will prioritize plans to construct 2,000 kilometers of roads linking India's major highway corridors to international trade points in South Asia. MoRTH Minister Nitin Gadkari highlights that this plan, worth Rs 25,000 crore, will facilitate export/import trade with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. The Ministry also took steps to operationalize the BBIN MVA.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Transport

December 2017

India Proposes $1 Billion LoC to Boost Connectivity with ASEAN

India has proposed a $1 billion line of credit (LOC) to strengthen sea, air, and road connectivity with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India. India and Myanmar are working together to upgrade infrastructure in the border areas, including the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway, and the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project.

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Tags: India, ASEAN, IMT-MVA, Myanmar, Motor Vehicles Agreement, Transport

November 2017

Speech: Accelerating RCI in Asia and the Pacific for Economic Growth, Shared Prosperity, and Sustainability

In his keynote address at the ADB Regional Cooperation and Integration Week, ADB President Takehiko Nakao stated that regional cooperation is critical to securing Asia’s economic future. He noted ADB’s continued commitment to support regional cooperation as a means to reduce inequality and overcome infrastructure gaps, and cited specific SASEC projects as effective examples. The ADB Regional Cooperation and Integration Week was held on 27-29 November 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

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Tags: ADB, ASEAN, Economic Corridor Development, Energy, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, Transport, World Bank, WTO

October 2017

SASEC Program Upgrades to Mobile-Friendly Website with Improved Security

The new-look SASEC website is fully mobile-friendly and automatically adjusts to fit the screen you are using — computer, tablet, or mobile phone—making it a convenient choice for staying in touch with regional cooperation throughout South Asia. SASEC has also updated to HTTPS for enhanced cybersecurity and user privacy.

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Tags: SASEC, ICT, Regional Cooperation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Maldives

September 2017

Roundtable Urges Increased India-Myanmar Connectivity, Trade

A roundtable discussion held in Myanmar noted the need to substantially increase connectivity, trade and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India. Officials from the two countries participated in the India-Myanmar Dialogue: Act East Policy and India-Myanmar Relations, held on 2 September 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. The forum was organized by Parami Roundtable and Mizzima Media Group.

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Tags: ASEAN, BIMSTEC, Connectivity, India, Myanmar, Trade

August 2017

Bangladesh to Export Bandwidth to Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam

Bangladesh plans to export 102.5 gigabit per second of bandwidth to its neighbors, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Negotiations are ongoing to enable 2.5 Gb per second of bandwidth export to Bhutan through India’s Power Grid Corporation of India Limited's fiber optic cable.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, ICT, Trade

June 2017

India Proposes Regional Air Connectivity Scheme among BIMSTEC Countries

The Government of India has proposed application of its "Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik" (UDAN) or "Common People of the Country can Fly" policy among member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). An enabling regional connectivity policy could help attract high value economic agents, business travelers, and tourists.

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Tags: India, BIMSTEC, Transport, Connectivity, Bhutan, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation

May 2017

India to Link Meghalaya-Myanmar, Boost Waterway Transit

The Government of India plans to begin construction of the highway connecting Meghalaya to Myanmar in June 2017, according to the Ministry of Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping, India. India also plans to boost waterway transit for more cost-effective transport of goods, and is considering waterway connectivity between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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Tags: Transport, India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia

April 2017

India Cabinet Approves Signing of BIMSTEC Power Grid Pact

India's Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the ratification of the MOU for the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. The MOU is expected to be signed at the next BIMSTEC Energy Minsters' Meeting and provides a broad framework for energy trade among BIMSTEC member countries.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Connectivity, Energy, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand

April 2017

Bangladesh Wants to Be South Asia’s Transport Hub

Bangladesh has the potential to become a transport hub for India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myamar, according to Mr. AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh. Turning Bangladesh into a regional and transshipment hub would enhance economic cooperation and result in collective economic growth for the countries, Mr. Muhith said at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Economic Corridor Development, Energy, ICT, India, Nepal, Maldives, Myanmar, SASEC, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Regional Cooperation

March 2017

SASEC Program Is Now on Facebook

SASEC is now on Facebook, connecting followers to the most up-to-date news on regional cooperation in South Asia, SASEC events, project information, and publications that are all featured daily on www.sasec.asia. To follow SASEC on Facebook, simply click here; then click “Like” at the top of the Facebook page.

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Tags: SASEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Economic cooperation

March 2017

India-Myanmar Border "Haats" Performing Well

Informal trading in the Northeast region's border 'haats' (rural markets) between India and Myanmar is doing very well, reported Mr. Najib Shah, Chairman of India's Central Board of Excise and Customs. The Government of India is considering opening more border haats to promote trade ties with its neighbors.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Connectivity

March 2017

BIMSTEC Roundtable Stresses Need to Resolve Border-Related Trade Barriers

The Eighth BIMSTEC Roundtable Meeting tackled “Rewriting the Rulebook of Regional Connectivity,” emphasizing the need to resolve border-related trade barriers through coordination of government policies across Asia, including Customs procedures and clearance of goods, to unlock the vibrancy of the Asian Highway and reduce the cost of doing business.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Trade, Customs, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, ICT, Nepal, Transport, Ease of Doing Business

February 2017

India-Myanmar Trade Increases to $22 Million

Bilateral trade between India and Myanmar increased from nearly $11.9 million in 2013-2014 to around $22.2 million in 2015-2016, according to India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry. India's Act East Policy was instrumental in promoting trade growth between the two countries, deepening economic cooperation and expanding trade through India's Northeast region.

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Tags: Act East Policy, India, Myanmar, Trade, Transport

February 2017

WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters into Force

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement came into force after Rwanda, Oman, Chad, and Jordan submitted their instruments of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. The submissions bring the total number of ratifications over the 110 required for activation. Members’ trade costs are forecast to lower by 14.3%, with developing countries having the most to gain.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, LDC, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

February 2017

Myanmar Joins SASEC

The SASEC Secretariat is happy to announce that the Government of Myanmar has joined the SASEC partnership as a full member on 21 February 2017.

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Tags: Myanmar, SASEC

February 2017

Commentary: Connecting Asia's Growth Poles

Mr. Wencai Zhang, Asian Development Bank Vice President, discusses in this commentary how Asia’s growth poles will drive the global economy in the coming years, if South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia can dynamically integrate their economies. He emphasized the urgent need to synch strengths across sub-regions—by removing non-tariff barriers, strengthening connectivity, and building economic corridors—to help erase poverty in the region.

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Tags: ADB, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Connectivity, Economic Corridor Development

January 2017

Railway Network Linking India and its Neighbors Under Consideration

A railway network linking India and its neighboring countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, is being considered by the Government of India, according to India Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Developing railway connectivity will increase employment, interaction, trade, and tourism.

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Tags: India, Rail, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Tourism, Employment

December 2016

4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence under the Central Board of Excise and Customs organized the 4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting in New Delhi, India, as part of its Founding Day celebrations. The Heads of Customs Enforcement from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius and Maldives were invited to participate in the said Meeting, which discussed issues of mutual concern, noted the need to share information and activate channels of coordination.

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Tags: Customs, Trade Facilitation, South Asia, Regional Cooperation, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Trade

December 2016

4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence under the Central Board of Excise and Customs organized the 4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting in New Delhi, India, as part of its Founding Day celebrations. The Heads of Customs Enforcement from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius and Maldives were invited to participate in the said Meeting, which discussed issues of mutual concern, noted the need to share information and activate channels of coordination.

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Tags: Customs, Trade Facilitation, South Asia, Regional Cooperation, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Trade

December 2016

India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally Highlights IMT Connectivity

An India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally, beginning in New Delhi, India and culminating in Bangkok, Thailand, has highlighted potential benefits of intra-regional connectivity and integration, and sensitized stakeholders on the all-weather road that will make travel from New Delhi to Bangkok by road possible.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, IMT-MVA, Transport, Road

September 2016

ADB Approves $1.5 Billion Railway Project for Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank has approved a multitranche loan of $1.5 billion to the Government of Bangladesh for construction of a key section of the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway line—the largest ever investment in railways by ADB. The new line will improve Bangladesh’s access to Myanmar and beyond, facilitate trade, and boost tourism in southeastern Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Rail, Connectivity, Transport, Trade, Tourism

August 2016

India to Develop a Special Economic Zone in Myanmar

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.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Special Economic Zone, Transport, Trade Facilitation

July 2016

Bus Service along IMT Route under Negotiation

Talks to implement a regular bus service between India and Thailand through Myanmar are underway as part of a Motor Vehicle Agreement being finalized by India, Myanmar, and Thailand (IMT). The service would run on the 1,400 kilometer IMT Trilateral Highway linking South and Southeast Asia.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Trade Facilitation, Transport

June 2016

India, Thailand to Increase Trade through Trade Agreement

India and Thailand have agreed to speed up talks on the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement and bilateral investment treaty. The two countries also agreed to fast-track infrastructure projects linking each other, such as the Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar.

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Tags: India, Thailand, Myanmar, Free Trade Agreement, Trade

May 2016

1,400 Kilometer Highway to Link India, Myanmar, and Thailand

A 1,400 kilometer highway will soon connect South and Southeast Asia by linking India with Myanmar and Thailand. Mr. Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, Indian Ambassador to Thailand, noted that the tri-nation highway exemplifies India's "Act East" policy, and will facilitate transit of goods and further development of SMEs in north India. The three countries are currently working to finalize negotiations for the groundbreaking India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Trade Facilitation, Infrastructure, Small and Medium Enterprises

May 2016

India, Myanmar Push for Stronger Economic Ties

The India-Myanmar Business Conclave met recently as part of a push for stronger economic ties between the two countries. At a conference on 18-20 May in Yangon, Myanmar, business leaders discussed partnerships as well as opportunities for future cooperation. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry of India, spoke on forging partnerships, highlighting India’s opening of 96.4% of tariff lines at zero duty for Myanmar.

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Tags: Myanmar, India, Trade, Energy, ICT

April 2016

Economic Cooperation Dialogue Highlights Need for Transport Corridors

The Economic Cooperation Dialogue on Regional Connectivity and Border Special Development Zones in Eastern South Asia highlighted the importance of transport corridors to promote trade and economic cooperation in the region. Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Head, UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, shared how developing transport corridors can turn constraints faced by the region's landlocked countries into opportunities.

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Tags: Trade, Transport, South Asia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

December 2015

69 Bridges to be Built on Major Section of the IMT Trilateral Highway

A total of 69 bridges will be built by the Government of India along a major road link of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway in Myanmar. These bridges will be part of the route for a proposed bus service linking Imphal, capital of the Indian state of Manipur, with Mandalay City in Myanmar. The project is estimated to cost around $56 million, and is due for completion in mid-2019.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Trade Facilitation, Transport

November 2015

Trial Runs for the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement Begin in December

Trial runs to test the effectiveness of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Motor Vehicle Agreement and identify implementation-related issues will begin by December 2015, according to India's Union Road Transport and Highway Secretary Vijay Chibber. Protocols for the IMT MVA are currently being finalized, to be signed by early April 2016.

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Trade Facilitation, Transport

August 2015

26 km Section of Asian Highway Linking IMT becomes Operational

The Myawaddy-Thin Gan Nyi Naung-Kawkareik section of the Asian Highway linking India, Myanmar, and Thailand (IMT) has become operational, reducing travel time between Thin Gan Nyi Naung and Kawkareik from 3 hours to 45 minutes. This section was constructed beginning 2012 with the assistance of Thailand, and is part of the Greater Mekong Subregion Program.

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Tags: India, Transport, Myanmar, Thailand