Enhanced trade between India and Myanmar: Mizoram – Myanmar Kaladan Road Project
On May 11th, 2018 Myanmar and India signed “The landmark Land Border Crossing Agreement “to construct a roadway between the countries for trade. This agreement is under the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project which is in its second phase of completion in India post the successful completion of first phase across the border
This project also includes:-
1. Construction of the Sittwe Port on Lakadan River mouth in Rakhine, Myanmar.
2. Construction of a river terminal 158km upstream at Paletwa, Mizoram
3. Dredging of the Kaladan River, Mizoram.
It is estimated to be completed by December ‘2019.
The new route through Sittwe would significantly lower the cost and distance of movement from Kolkata to Mizoram and beyond. India for years has sought transit access through Bangladesh to ship goods to the landlocked north eastern region. At present,the only route to this region from the rest of India is through a narrow strip of Indian Territory nicknamed the "Chicken’s Neck" in West Bengal. Both countries signed an MoU which agrees to facilitate the movement of project personnel, construction material and equipment to expedite work on the highway.
The construction of routes between India and Myanmar has been operational since 2010. India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar. For Myanmar, India is the fifth largest destination for exports and the sixth largest source of imports. The agriculture sector dominates trade, particularly the supply of beans and pulses and timber to India. Indian exports to Myanmar includes sugar and pharmaceuticals among others. Bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing steadily and after completion of this project, it will help to blue pencil the demarcations of trade movement between the two countries.