Two major transport projects -- Kaladan Multi-modal Transit and India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway -- which will link India with a number of ASEAN countries are likely to be completed by 2016.
Union minister V K Singh said this while noting that the two projects will open up the northeastern region to vibrant economies of the South East Asian countries.
In a written speech at an event, read out by Secretary, Eastern Region in Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta, Singh said the transport corridors through Myanmar would be key to development of the northeastern states.
"The Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Model is expected to be fully completed by 2016. The India-Myanmar- Thailand trilateral highway corridor is also one such projects that we hope will be ready by 2016 and open up tremendous possibility of trade and investment in the region," he said.
The event was organised to release a report on 'Transforming Connectivity Corridors between India and Myanmar into Development Corridors'.
"It is clear to me that the development of the northeast is organically and intrinsically linked with South East Asia. This vision has clearly been spelt out in our 'Look East Policy'," the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region said.
The report has been prepared by Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), an autonomous think-tank under the Ministry of External Affairs.
Vice-chairman, RIS and former Ambassador to Myanmar, V S Seshadri, under whose guidance the report has been made, said "The Kaladan project when implemented will connect Kolkata to Sittwe port in Myanmar, and then further to Mizoram through river and road.
"From Sittwe the route involves travelling multi-modally through Kaladan river till Paletwa, about 158 km. And, from there two stretches of roads of roughly 100 km each -- from Paletwa to Indo-Myanmar Border (in Myanmar) and from the border to Lawngtlai (in India)."
India and Myanmar had signed a framework agreement in 2008 for the implementation of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP).
The India-Myanmar-Thailand highway project to link the three countries was conceived at the trilateral ministerial meeting on transport linkages in Yangon in April 2002.
The highways will run from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar and represent a significant step in establishing connectivity between India and South East Asian countries.