The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH) is nearing completion and is expected to boost trade and business within the ASEAN-India Free Trade Zone, as well as throughout Southeast Asia. With about 70% of the construction work already finished, this 1,360-kilometre-long motorway will connect India, Thailand, and Myanmar, strengthening commerce, business, health, education, and tourism relations among the three countries.
Under the Look East policy, India is actively involved in the construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar. The Kalewa-Yagyi road section, spanning 120.74 kilometers, and the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section, spanning 160 kilometers, including 69 bridges and an approach road, are both being built by India. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is overseeing the project as the technical executing agency and project management consultant. The estimated cost for completing the India-Myanmar stretch of the IMT trilateral highway is Ra 1,177 crore, with funding provided by the Government of India.
Opportunity for India’s North East through the IMTTH
The IMTTH presents a significant opportunity for the economic development of India’s North East region, which has been hampered by limited accessibility and inadequate road infrastructure. Currently, the region heavily relies on the Chicken’s Neck, a narrow corridor connecting the North East to the rest of India. By improving the road network and facilitating the flow of goods, services, and people, the IMTTH will enhance connectivity in the region and contribute to its growth and development.
Look East Policy
The Look East Policy, implemented by the Indian government, aims to strengthen economic and geopolitical ties with Southeast Asian countries, positioning India as a regional power and counterbalancing China’s influence. The IMTTH is a key component of this policy, facilitating trade and cultural exchanges between India and ASEAN member states.
The completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will significantly improve India’s connectivity with its neighbors and enhance its integration into the global supply chain. By capitalizing on the economic potential of India’s North East and addressing structural and institutional shortcomings, the region can emerge as a thriving economic hub. The IMTTH aligns with India’s Act East Policy and plays a crucial role in fostering regional cooperation and growth.