Myanmar and India will build two more border roads soon to connect Myanmar's northern Chin state and India's Mizoram state to effectively promote the border trade activities between the two neighbors, a local weekly reported Friday.
The two highways are Reed-Falam road and Reed-Tiddim road, said the 7-Day News Journal, quoting the Myanmar Ministry of Home Affairs.
An Indian delegation plans to visit Myanmar later this year for a preliminary study of the project, to which India will render assistance, the sources said.
The project was agreed last month at a bilateral meeting of national level on border area development, border security and border trade.
Myanmar had built a 160-kilometer Tamu-Kalewa road in the border area in northwestern Sagaing division which was opened in February 2001. The Tamu-Kalewa highway forms an important link from the India-Myanmar border to central Myanmar and the commercial and cultural center of Mandalay where India reopened its Consulate-General in 2002.
Myanmar has opened two border trade points with India, the first being Tamu in April 1995, while the second being Reedkhawdhar in January 2004.
Meanwhile, over the period from 1997 up to 2003, India extended to Myanmar 50 million US dollars' credit for industrial development under their economic and technological cooperation.
Again in July 2004, India provided another line of credit worth over 56 million dollars to Myanmar for upgrading its over 600- kilometer rail transportation between Yangon and Mandalay.
India, besides having an investment of 4.5 million US dollars in Myanmar so far since 1999, also has a bilateral trade with the country, including the border trade, which amounted to 447.23 million dollars in 2004 with India standing as Myanmar's 4th largest trading partner after Thailand, China and Singapore during the year.
India also stands as Myanmar's second largest export market after Thailand, absorbing 25 percent of its total exports.
Of the total bilateral trade volume in 2004, Myanmar's exports to India took 331.9 million, while its imports from India stood 115.33 million, figures show. The two countries plan to increase their bilateral trade to 1 billion dollars by 2006.