Importance of Myanmar for India’s Ostpolitik

The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) released its latest report “Strengthening Border Connectivity at India-Myanmar Border” and hosted a panel discussion on India-Myanmar Connectivity on Friday.

Prabhat Kumar IFS, Special Secretary (ER and DPA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the main guest on the occasion. Kumar commended LPAI for the critical role it has played in facilitating safe and seamless cross-border trade and passenger movement via land ports.

He also stressed Myanmar’s importance under India’s Act East and Neighborhood First policies and described the wealth of connectivity initiatives the Indian government is implementing to enhance regional integration with the Southeast Asian bloc.

In his welcoming address, LPAI Chairman Aditya Mishra emphasized the importance of strengthening trade and connectivity between India and Myanmar and explained how Land Port Moreh has played a crucial role in facilitating trade across the border .

He also mentioned the importance of road infrastructure and related projects, especially the Trilateral Highway, in boosting the economy of Northeast India and improving bilateral relations with ASEAN countries.

dr Prabir De, Professor at RIS, presented the main findings of the report entitled “Strengthening Border Connectivity at the India-Myanmar Border”. The report sheds light on the economic principles underlying Moreh’s frontier development and offers new ideas on how to better utilize its potential in light of upcoming connectivity projects. It identifies the constraints, challenges and bottlenecks at the India-Myanmar border and recommends policy measures to improve border connectivity for LPAI and other central and state authorities.

This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Ambassador. Gurjit Singh, Professor, IIT Indore and former Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia, Ethiopia, ASEAN and the African Union.

Panelists included Sabyasachi Dutta, Managing Director of Asian Confluence, Shillong; Afaq Hussain, Director, Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic, Fundamentals (BRIEF), Dr. Monish Tourangbam, Honorary Director, Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies (KIIPS) and Cchavi Vasisht, Research Associate, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).

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