India’s Trilateral Highway with Myanmar and Thailand - Background Context
Program Name: Trilateral Highway (India-Myanmar-Thailand).
Distance: 1360 kilometers
Connection Points: Moreh (Manipur, India) to Mae Sot (Thailand) via Myanmar.
India to undertake the construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway
- Kalewa-Yagyi road section in Myanmar.
- Construction of 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section in Myanmar.
These two sections were conferred and awarded for their Construction and Engineering. The Kalewa-Yagyi section was awarded in May 2018 and the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa was awarded in November 2017. The estimated completion time for both the projects is approximately three years from their date of initiation. These projects are financed and funded by the Union Government of India under the title Grant Assistance to the Government of Myanmar. The respective cost of these projects is as such 1459.29 crores (Kalewa-Yagyi) and ₹ 371.58 crores for the 69 Bridges on the TKK road projects. These initiatives are under the Indian “Look East Policy”. The construction of this highway will boost the trade and commerce activities in the “ASEAN-India Free Trade Area” with the rest of the Asian nations. The Indian Govt. has also put forward the idea of extending or stretching this ambitious highway project to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
What is Look-East Policy:
It is India’s efforts made in the direction of the Strengthen the Economic and Strategic relations with the Southeast Asian countries.
The other agenda/policy is also to counter the presence of the People’s Republic of China in the Southeast Asian region (The dragon spreads its influence at a rapid pace).
Out of India's total foreign trade, commerce with Southeast Asia roughly accounts for 45%, which is a very considerable figure and thus India’s “Look East Policy” targets Myanmar and ASEAN countries.