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Published: 1 September 2012
India funds three-nation road
India has granted a US$500M loan to Myanmar, part of which will be used to finance the construction of a 3,200 km highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand.
Anil Wadhwa, India’s ambassador in Bangkok, said New Delhi would also host an Indian-ASEAN Summit from December 19 to 22 this year to mark the 20th anniversary of India's relations with the 10-country regional group.
During the summit, which will be attended by most ASEAN leaders, India's connectivity with other ASEAN countries by road, rail and other forms of transport would be at the top of the agenda, the envoy said.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently visited Myanmar and extended the credit line to his counterpart, of which about US$100m is earmarked for roads inside Myanmar as part of the trilateral highway.
The 3,200 km route will run from India's north eastern states into Myanmar, where over 1,600 km of roads will be built or improved. Other sources of funds include the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
"This will connect India with Myanmar all the way down to Mandalay. After that, we will connect with a highway 63km from the Thai border with Myanmar, which is being built by the Thai authorities," Wadhwa said.
"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,” he said.
The trilateral highway will form part of the so-called East-West Economic Corridor linking India with Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.