Manipur boosts Indo-Myanmar trade zone project

An Indo-Myanmar friendship gate promote  bilateral trade.
An Indo-Myanmar friendship gate promote bilateral trade.

The state government of Manipur is making a feasibility study to set up a trade zone at the border village Behiang on the boundary of Myanmar’s Chin State and India.
Agreement on the establishment of the zone was signed by the two countries in 2012 to promote trade.
Govindas Konthoujam, Manipur’s commerce and industries minister, said, “The state government has been seeking opportunities to promote border trade since 2006 in cooperation with the central government.”
The trade zone, which will be on 2,500 hectare s in the Churachanpur district, also includes a customs office to facilitate exports and imports.
An official of the Ministry of Commerce in Myanmar said, “The project includes two phases of border market and trade zone.”
Rih-Zokawthar is now the only official border trade zone between Chin and Manipur, and the new trade route will be 200 kilometre shorter than Moreh-Imphal-Silchar highway.
Chin State Chief Minister U Hong Ngai said the proposed area for new border trade zone is the most appropriate for trade sector between the two countries, shortening about 70 miles of the route between the two countries. Behiang trade zone will be funded by the central government of India, while the Manipur government will
construct the road.
Myanmar is exporting agricultural products to India through a border crossing in Behiang village, although it has not officially been opened. Bilateral trade volume between the two countries is targeted to reach $3 billion in 2015, while ASEAN-India trade is expected to hit $100 billion in the same period.—GNLM

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