India seeks road travel agreement with Myanmar, Thailand
Road travel to Myanmar or Thailand from northeastern India may soon become a reality if the two countries approve a motor vehicle agreement proposed by New Delhi, the Hindustan Times reported on April 5.
The newspaper said the transport ministers of India, Thailand and Myanmar would meet in the southern Indian city of Chennai on April 18 to discuss the details of the agreement, which is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to strengthen cooperation with Southeast Asia.
The framework of the proposed agreement, being prepared by the Road Transport Ministry, would open the door for “seamless transit of passenger and cargo vehicles” among the three countries, it reported.
“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” the newspaper quoted an Indian government official as saying.
The proposed agreement is similar to a BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India) agreement that New Delhi plans to sign with the three countries in June. The official said that after an agreement was signed with Myanmar and Thailand it would be integrated with the BBIN corridor.
India has bilateral motor vehicle agreements with Nepal and Bangladesh but a multilateral pact would go a long way in strengthening trade and tourism in the region, the newspaper said.
India is also set to launch a weekly cross border bus service between Imphal in Manipur and Mandalay.