See More on Facebook

Analysis, News

Opening of Myanmar border gives filip to India’s Act East Policy

Myanmar shares an almost 1,600-km border with four northeast Indian states and a majority of residents in this region have relatives living on the other side of the frontier.


Written by

Updated: August 28, 2018

Myanmar has officially opened the land border with India for trade, giving New Delhi’s Act East policy and its ties with Asean a much-needed boost.

The opening of two land-border crossings between India and Myanmar earlier this month, at Tamu-Moreh in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur and Rihkhawdar-Zowkhawtar in Mizoram, are expected to bring the two countries closer in the field of trade and commerce.

The land border crossings were opened at a grand ceremony at Tamu in Sagaing division, marking the abolition of special land entry permissions required for visitors entering via land routes.

Myanmar shares an almost 1,600-km border with four northeast Indian states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram – and a majority of residents in the region have relatives living on the other side of the frontier.

“This is a historic day for both the countries, a giant step in our bilateral relations and Act East policy,” Nandan Singh Bahisora, Consul General of India in Myanmar, said at the opening of the border crossings.

The agreement on the land border crossings was signed at Nay Pyi Taw during Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Myanmar in May. The move will enhance trade and tourism and boost socio-economic development.

A statement by the Indian Embassy in Myanmar said, “The landmark Land Border Crossing Agreement between India and Myanmar, signed on May 11, 2018, has been brought into effect with the simultaneous opening of international entry-exit checkpoints at the Tamu-Moreh and the Rihkhawdar-Zowkhawtar border between Myanmar and India.”

The agreement also allows people living on either side of the border to travel within a radius of 16 km of the frontier without permits.

“People from both the countries as well as third country, holding a valid passport and visa/e-visa can cross the land border. People can travel within the entire country and also can stay for the duration as specified in visa,” Bahisora said.

Earlier, Indians travelling to Myanmar had to hire a licensed guide for about US$60 a day, in addition to acquiring a special land route permit from the government.

India and Myanmar are also pursuing initiatives to improve road connectivity between the two sides. They have undertaken two large projects, including the renovation of 69 bridges between Tamu and Kalay and the upgrade of the road between Kalewa and Yargi. The projects are likely to be completed by 2020.

R K Shivchandra, the convener of Act East Policy Committee, said the India-Myanmar land border is the last frontier to be officially opened in the whole of Southeast Asia.

“This is long cherished dreams of both the people of the countries, particularly Manipur. We are very excited that now we can travel to other Southeast Asian countries easily,” Shivchandra was quoted as saying by The Statesman.

The opening of the border crossings is significant not just to enable people-to-people movement, but also as Myanmar is crucial for New Delhi’s connectivity initiatives in the region, particularly in light of New Delhi’s non-participation in the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative, the Diplomat reported.

“India, Myanmar, and Thailand are working on the trilateral India-Myanmar-Thailand highway, which is expected to be see completion by the end of next year. There are also plans to connect it with pre-existing highways all the way to Da Nang in Vietnam.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been focussing on India’s Look East policy – which has been renamed the Act East Policy. Myanmar is seen as India’s land bridge to Asean and hence closer ties with the country are important for its policies.

However, the land border agreement is only half complete till the two countries sign a Motor Vehicles Agreement which enables citizens of both countries to drive across each other’s borders.

The Motor Vehicles Agreement, first proposed in 2015, will eventually connect Thailand with India’s proposed Trilateral Highway. The Trilateral Highway – a crucial element of India’s Act East policy – is aimed at increasing trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts with Asean, through Myanmar and Thailand.

India’s emphasis on building these relations was best witnessed at this year’s Republic Day celebrations in January, which saw the heads of all Asean states as chief guests.

Write a Content here.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, News

Taiwan: 720,000 people registered for purchasing face masks online

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that more than 722,000 people — 600,000 using the NHI app and 122,000 more using the Emask system — had successfully registered for purchasing face masks as of 1 p.m. Asked about people who have reportedly tried to register again, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung called on the public to stop, stressing that authorities are committed to providing a set of face masks to each user prior to March 18, the official deadline for registration. Regarding some reported phone scams on payment requirements for face masks, Chen asked users to remain vigilant. Access is limited to Taiwan residents who need to register their NHI number, obtain proper digital certification and downloa


By Asia News Network
March 13, 2020

Analysis, News

Covid-19 outbreak will continue for a year or longer; more stringent measures may need to be put in place, says PM Lee

 In a video address on his social media channels, PM Lee emphasised that the situation in Singapore remains under control. The Covid-19 outbreak will continue for some time – a year, and maybe longer – said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his second national address on the situation on Thursday (March 12). But if Singaporeans keep up their guard and take practical precautions, the country will be able to keep its economy going and people will be able to carry on with their daily lives, he said. In a video address on his social media channels, PM Lee emphasised that the situation in Singapore remains under control. The disease outbreak response level will not be stepped up to red, the highest level, he said. It is c


By The Straits Times
March 13, 2020

Analysis, News

Foreigners play their part in Shanghai’s epidemic prevention

 Expat volunteers have been active in helping the city overcome the COVID-19 outbreak. Twelve foreign residents in Shanghai have joined a volunteer team to help with the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control. Located in Minhang district, the team was established on Feb 10 by the Jinfeng International Community Development Association, which aims to promote the development of Huacao town and the Jinfeng International Community by organising themed activities and public welfare events. Pakistani Amir Shafiq Khan joined the team to give back. “It’s easy to run away to another country, but I felt that my family and I should contribute to China in this difficult time as it has always offered opportunities to us,” says Khan, who has lived in


By China Daily
March 13, 2020

Analysis, News

Asian stock markets take cue from US to hit fresh lows

ST Index careens into bear territory for the first time since January 2016 Many stock markets across Asia, including in Singapore, followed the United States into bear territory after US President Donald Trump stopped short of offering a detailed rescue package as the coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic. Adding to fears, oil prices slumped further. The Straits Times Index (STI) careened into bear territory for the first time since January 2016. The last time that the STI was in a bear market – where stocks have fallen at least 20 per cent from their recent high – was during the oil price rout in 2016. The STI finished down 3.77 per cent yesterday, and more than 21 per cent down from a peak of 3,407.02 on April 29 last year.


By The Straits Times
March 13, 2020

Analysis, News

askST: Can coronavirus be spread by sweat, or via activities such as singing?

There is currently no evidence showing that the virus can be transmitted through one’s perspiration. Concerns have been raised over social activities such as singing and exercising in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Wednesday (March 11), Singapore’s largest Safra Jurong cluster of confirmed coronavirus cases went up to 40, against a total of 178 cases. The patients, who had attended a Feb 15 Chinese New Year celebration held in the ballroom of Joy Garden restaurant at Safra Jurong, are members of a Hokkien singing group. This has raised concerns as to whether the disease, known as Covid-19, can be transmitted through singing. Similar concerns have been expressed about whether the virus can be spread through sweat b


By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020

Analysis, News

Bangladesh to benefit from coronavirus fallout: survey

Study says globally renowned companies are planning to shift work orders from China to other Asian countries, including Bangladesh. Bangladesh will benefit from the fallout of the coronavirus as most of the globally renowned companies are planning to shift work orders from China to other Asian countries, including Bangladesh, according to a new survey. Hong Kong-based QIMA, a leading provider of supply chain compliance solutions and which partners with brands, retailers and importers to secure, manage and optimise their global supply network, surveyed the executives of more than 200 globally renowned companies between February and early March. Half of the survey respondents are considering shifting supplier sourcing away from China to new countries or r


By Daily Star
March 12, 2020