Arunachal Govt demands Centre for Better Trade Routes with China, Myanmar And Bhutan

Arunachal Govt demands Centre for Better Trade Routes with China, Myanmar And Bhutan

Myanmar, China and Bhutan Myanmar, China and Bhutan

Itanagar, September 13, 2019:

The Arunachal Pradesh government has asked the Centre to take steps to improve road connectivity with neighbouring countries- Myanmar, China and Bhutan for the better trade in between these countries and Northeast India.

The approach was made by Arunachal Trade & Commerce Minister Tumke Bagra at a board of trade meeting chaired by Union Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal at New Delhi.

Tumke Bagra stated that rebuilding of the Stilwell road will connect the landlocked region with the ASEAN countries and provide shorter and cheaper trade routes (between Myanmar, China and Bhutan) than the existing sea routes which are longer.

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Built during the World War-II by the Allied forces to aid the Chinese forces fighting the Japanese, Stilwell road connects India with northern Myanmar and China’s Yunnan province via Pangsau Pass in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.

Bagra added that reopening of the route through Pangsau Pass will not only improve trade relations between India and Myanmar but also benefit the local population. It can also be converted into a gateway to the Southeast Asian countries, he said.

Bagra also said the construction of the road from Lumla in western Arunachal Pradesh to Trashigang in Bhutan will boost tourism in Tawang. According to Bagra’s statement, Lumla is motorable up to Warongde at the India-Bhutan border on the Indian side. However, a stretch of 7 km from Warongde to Bhutan’s Khinye is yet to be connected. If completed, the journey time between Tawang and Guwahati via Tashigang will be reduced by five hours than the present route through Sela Pass, Bomdila and Tezpur.

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He also added that the new route via Trashigang will help commuters bypass the present landslide-prone route and help Tawang develop as an international tourist destination.

Bagra also urged Goyal to reconsider the minimum area requirement for setting up of an economic zone in the state, considering its topography.

The Trade & Commerce Minister stressed the need for establishing outlets with facilities for collecting, sorting, grading, and packaging agricultural and horticultural products, along proposed highways. Bagra also sought setting up of certification units for organic agricultural and horticultural products and food testing laboratories at the border trade centres.

He said integrated domestic trade centres at interstate border towns in the north-eastern states will help farmers of the region.

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“Goods originating from the Northeast which is sent to other states within the country be treated as ‘deemed exports’ and feasible incentive be devised,” he said, adding that the matter of border trade through Pangsau Pass be included in the bilateral trade agreement between India and Myanmar.

He also urged the union minister for the opening of a land customs station in Changlang district’s Nampong which had been approved by the government of India in 1951.

Bagra further urged the Centre to request Myanmar to build infrastructure for a land customs station near Pangsau Pass on their side.

Goyal assured Bagra of establishing an export promotion council in Arunachal related to agricultural and horticultural products.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Sep 13, 2019