India External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has termed the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project as a very difficult project. He said that the situation in Myanmar has caused trouble. Finding ways to restart it is the priority of the government. Jaishankar arrived here to attend the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Mekong-Ganga Cooperation as well as to attend the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.
Jaishankar spoke to the people of the Indian community here about India. On the relationship between Thailand and India, he told the Indian community that how to build road connectivity with Thailand is the biggest challenge for us today. We are constantly working on it. Good roads will bring a change in the movement of goods and the movement of people. It will be easy for the people. We have a road project from Northeast India that if we connect Thailand by road through Myanmar. But this is a very difficult project. It has been difficult mainly because of the situation in Myanmar. But today our priority is how to restart it. However, a major part of the project is already done.
India-Thailand-Myanmar is working on about 1400 kilometre long highway. With this, three countries will be connected by road. The highway will start from Moreh in Manipur and will reach Mai in Thailand via Myanmar. The road link will help in matters related to trade, health, education and tourism between the three countries. 70 per cent work of the project has been completed. The target of the government was that by December 2019 the highway would be started. But the project is getting delayed due to Myanmar.
Jaishankar said that the India-Thailand relationship is not from today. It is centuries old. We have centuries of historical and cultural ties. After independence, it started to flourish again, which gained more momentum in the 1990s. However, in the last 10 years, the relations between the two countries have touched a new dimension. On the Indian economy, Jaishankar said that today look at the rest of the world’s economies, which are not able to grow above five per cent. But after all the problems, India is growing at seven percent.