India Myanmar and Thailand are
working together on a trilateral high way to establish road better road
connectivity to ASEAN countries so that the cargo could move up from India to
Vietnam without any hitch shipping and transport minister Nitin Gadkari said.
The Minister was speaking at the ASEAN India connectivity summit organised
by the Confedertion of Indian Industry CII at the National capital last week.
The ministry is also working closely with the Myanmar government for the
construction of Kaladan Multimodal project so that goods could be easily
transported to North eastern states
Mr Gadkari said that strong steps are being taken to upgrade India’s ports
and waterways. He highlighted that the Sagarmala programme envisages an
investment of Rs 16 lakh crore for maritime connectivity. The Ganga River from
Varanasi to Haldia has been developed as a waterway and a further linkage is
being created via the Brahmaputra to India’s North-East.
According to Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs,
there is a strong case to improve maritime connectivity between India and
ASEAN. Maritime connectivity will not only help improve bilateral trade but
also connect the various islands in India and ASEAN and tap into the investment
opportunities in these islands.
The Minister said that promoting connectivity with ASEAN is a priority for
India. The two regions have long historical maritime linkages and the time is
ripe to reconstruct some of those linkages.
He highlighted the need to promote air connectivity between the ASEAN
region and Tier II cities in India.
Mr Phan Tam, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Information and
Communications of Vietnam, said that ASEAN countries are focused on the
implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity to promote free flow of
goods and people in the region. He added that India is a major partner in many
of these projects and ASEAN-India strategic relations are poised to touch a new
high because of this.
Ms Shobana Kamineni, President, CII, said that connecting the ASEAN
countries with India can yield numerous benefits. For example, larger markets
can bring about economies of scale in production and enhance competitiveness.
Integration of markets can facilitate the movement of production networks and
attract more foreign direct investment along with the benefits of knowledge and
technology transfer and opportunities to connect to regional and global supply
chains, said a release.