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From North east you can drive up to Vietnam

The Government is in talks with ASEAN countries to extend the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highway up to Vietnam, a senior official said on Tuesday.

India and ASEAN countries are holding consultations on the extension of the 1,360 km IMT highway from Moreh in India to Mae-Sot in Thailand to Laos, Cambodia and to Vietnam, she said.

Formal discussions to extend the highway to Vietnam have started and ...we have also announced a certain line of credit for the purpose on certain projects," said Dakshita Das, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

She was speaking at the ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit, organised in New Delhi by industry body CII.

Once we connect, we have a tremendous potential in terms of incremental GDP. Connectivity can generate annually, an estimated 70 billion US Dollars in incremental GDP and 20 million in incremental aggregate employment by 2025," she said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has 10 member nations Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Das said that another area on which the government is working to connect India with South East Asia is the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement (IMT MVA). India, Myanmar and Thailand in 2014 commenced negotiations for finalising and implementing the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement (IMT MVA).

Framework MVAs need to be urgently concluded to utilise the physical road infrastructure on IMT Trilateral Highway and ASEAN that are central to completing the vision of India-ASEAN connectivity, Das said.

Connecting India with the Southeastern countries through a network of roads will create jobs, a market for crops grown in hilly regions of the Northeast which will also help growers in getting a better price for their produce, he said.


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