Repost: India’s reply to China’s Silk route: Thai Embassy writes to govt to start trade at Indo-Myanmar-Thailand road


India’s reply to China’s Silk route: Thai Embassy writes to govt to start trade at Indo-Myanmar-Thailand road http://theindianeconomist.com/indias-reply-to-chinas-silk-route-thai-embassy-writes-to-govt-to-start-trade-at-indo-myanmar-thailand-road/

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p class=”appyet_title appyet_title_read” style=”margin-top:15px;font-family:AppYet-Condensed-Sans;line-height:28px;color:rgb(136,136,136);font-size:22px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);”>India’s reply to China’s Silk route: Thai Embassy writes to govt to start trade at Indo-Myanmar-Thailand road

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p class=”appyet_subtitle” style=”width:290px;font-size:13px;color:rgb(153,153,153);border-top:1px solid rgb(221,221,221);border-bottom:1px solid rgb(221,221,221);line-height:1.5em;padding-top:4px;padding-bottom:3px;font-family:AppYet-Regular-Sans;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);”>The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind / 1 day ago


By Sanjay Thapa Jeet

Cocking a snook at China’s ambitious silk trade route expansion,  Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy is enabling  India in  making its presence felt in the SE Asian region  with its 1400 km  Indo-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral trade  route. Bolstered by the new initiatives under  of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ”Áct East” policy, the Royal Thai Embassy Commercial  Affairs, New Delhi has written to the government  towards setting up trade markets in Guwahati, Imphal and Dimapur as interchange  points for goods and services for Thai companies to operate. IMT trade route is the further extension of the Indo-Myanmar Friendship road that was started in 2001.

“I have already written towards this direction and we will be approaching the Ministry of Commerce on this matter,”said Tharadol Thongruang, Minister Counsellor, Royal Thai Embassy Commercial, New Delhi  in an exclusive interview. The Thai Embassy Commercial has enthused new optimism under the new leadership of  Prime Minister  Modi who has turned around the ‘Look East’ policy to ”Act East” policy. Thai govt feels that  they expect the  1400 km road project to  enable a smooth route for all trade and commerce activities across the international borders.The officials said that there would be a reciprocal arrangement under the bilateral trade agreement and the Thai producers selling their wares would in turn buy Indian goods as imports to be sold in Thailand.

The trade route is part of the East West Economic Trade Corridor and is being  seen as a big step towards the ASEAN free trade market for India . It connects New Delhi through Myanmar, to  Thailand. The new Myanmar government in 2015 had temporarily withdrawn from funding the project however, the Myanmar Presidential visit last year cleared the project. The Indian government has even proposed to pump in funds to the tune US $ 100 million and construct over 69 bridges in Myanmar that fall in the IMT route. India will also be renovating  over 73 bridges that are part of this route and are in need of reconstruction and repair. The Ministry of External Affairs has already cleared the project to be expanded further to reach Laos and Vietnam in the coming years. The completion of part of these  projects are expedited to start operations  by 2018.

Thailand gets a big share of  its revenue from Indian  tourists yet there was declining share of inflows towards Indian side. There were several trade avenues that have remained untapped. In order to further give a big fillip to the bilateral trade, the Thai Airways had already started a direct flight for Bangkok from Lucknow and Jaipur recently. However,  regional connectivity in India  still remained big hurdle and has jeopardised the movement of tourists within the regional circuits in India.

Last month the government of  Myanmar approved a proposal by the Thai government permitting the latter to upgrade a 68 km road stretch from Thaton in Mon state to Eindu in Kayin state.  A  trilateral Motor vehicle agreement has already been signed up between the three countries and government has organised experimental runs of commercial vehicles between the three countries. Last month a motor rally was organised from New Delhi  to cover the three countries and reaching Bangkok


The writer is an accomplished journalist with more than 2 decades of experience at India’s premier publications

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