India speeds up road link plans with Myanmar

06 April 2015
India speeds up road link plans with Myanmar
Workers load good at border trade town at Tamu-India border on November 29, 2014. Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

Indians wishing to make a road trip to Myanmar or further to Thailand via Northeast India may soon become a reality if a proposed motor vehicle agreement that India plans to sign with the two countries comes through, reports the Hindustan Times on April 5.
In line with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s thrust to increase cooperation in the Southeast Asian region, the road transport ministry is readying the framework of the proposed multilateral MV agreement that would open the door for “seamless transit of passenger and cargo vehicles” between the three countries, according to the report.
On April 18, the transport secretaries of India, Thailand and Myanmar will meet in Chennai, India to decide the details of the agreement.
“Once the framework is agreed upon, it would be just a matter of time before a formal agreement is signed. It would give a big boost to trade and economy in the region” said an Indian government official.
The proposed MV agreement is similar to the agreement that India plans to sign with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal in June.
“The framework for the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India) corridor has already been finalised. 
Once the agreement with Myanmar and Thailand is signed it will be integrated with the BBIN corridor,” said an official.
Currently India only has a bilateral motor vehicle agreement with Nepal and Bangladesh but a multilateral pact would go a long way in strengthening trade and tourism in the region.
India is also set to launch a weekly cross border bus service between Imphal in Manipur and Mandalay in central Myanmar.