Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industries, on 21 August 2017 announced that the construction work of Asian Trilateral Highway will commence shortly to catalyze the Act East policy.
Speaking at the one-day lecture on New India Manthan- Sankalp Se Siddhi at Imphal, Sitharaman went on to state that Manipur will be the gateway for the entire South-East Asia.
About Asian Trilateral Highway
• The Asian Trilateral Highway is a highway under construction that will connect Moreh, India with Mae Sot, Thailand via Myanmar.
• The length of the four-lane highway is approximately 1360 kilometres.
• The road is expected to boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia.
• India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The proposed approx 3200 kilometres route from India to Vietnam is known as the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC).
• A highway connecting Moreh to Mae Sot via Myanmar was first proposed at a trilateral ministerial meeting on transport linkages in Yangon in April 2002.
• In May 2017, India's NITI Aayog proposed establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) owned by all three countries to monitor and implement the project.
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