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Thailand dissatisfied with Trilateral Highway progress

Kolkata, Sep10 (UNI)Thailand today expressed dissatisfaction over the progress of the
Indian side of the India-Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway.
Mr Tharadoi Thongruang, Minister Counselor(Commercial), told reporters at a media
interaction at The Bengal Chamber that the Indian side of the highway which will connect
Imphal to Bangkok via Mandalay is still awaiting completion even as Thai side of the
highway was complete.
Once the highway became operational, it would be possible to reach Imphal from
Bangkok in two nights, the minister said and added that highway was expected to
give a major thrust to the trade of consumer goods between the two countries.
"The bilateral trade between India and Thailand has reached US$ 8 billion,"
Mr Thongruang said and added that the present trade balance is in favour of Thailand
with Indian imports being worth approximately US$ 5 billion and exports being worth
US$ 3 billion.
Further, with an eye on curtailing time and cost of export to India, Thailand is
developing its Ranong Port near Phuket and considering to connect it to Kolkata Port.
Mr Thongruang said the Ranang port was operational around five years ago, but it
stopped operating due to lower volume of exports to India from Thailand.
"At present, the ports operational in Thailand force us to travel through a longer route.
Ranong port will shorten the route," he said.
The minister said Thailand was considering to connect Kolkata port as it is the closest
to Thailand, but Chennai and Vishakhapatnam ports are also under consideration.
The minister said Thailand was developing the port "for bigger ships to ply".
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