India on Wednesday signed the decade long Kaladan multi modal transit transport project with its neighbouring country Myanmar which opened India’s access through alternative route to the northeast states.
As per the agreement the $120m project will boost up India to develop Burma's Sittwe port on Kaladan river from where goods will be transported.
The concord was signed by the Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and his Myanmar counterpart U. Nyan Win in the presence of visiting vice-senior-general Maung Aye, the number two leader in Myanmar’s ruling military junta and Vice–President of India Hamid Ansari.
The completion of the Kaladan project will not only facilitate India an access route from any part of the country to the land-locked north-eastern states but will also counter Bangladesh’s blocking of an Indian request to provide transit rights through its territory. Means there will be no need for transition through Bangladesh.
The project will develop Sittwe port from where consignments of good will be received and sent via road from the northeastern Indian states. Besides port the project will develop and construct road, linking Kalewa in Myanmar to Moreh, the border town in the Northeastern region of India at an estimated cost of Rs 5.3 billion.
Maung Aye who is also the Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council accompanied by a high level delegations comprising members of the business community has arrived in India on a five-day official visit to discuss on multi economic and subjects of strategic importance.
The delegation-level talks between the two countries centered around economic cooperation, connectivity, security and energy. Burma’s roadmap for a new constitution, referendum in May and elections in 2010 also discussed.
Besides the two countries also signed double taxation avoidance agreement on the occasion. Both sides mutually agreed to take steps to open up the existing border points in the Northeast states for regular trade. With these commitments the trade between India and Myanmar no doubt would achieve new height in the coming years.
The agreement on the ambitious Kaladan corridor linking Sittwe in Myanmar to northeastern Indian states is the highlight of the trip. The outline of the deal has been building since January when New Delhi agreed the port would remain under Myanmar’s control providing India to use the port.
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