Bangladesh, Myanmar to have new road link
Apr 22, 2007 - 2:36:48 PM

Dhaka, April 22 - A new 23-km road linking Bangladesh with Myanmar is to come up to boost border trade.

The road links Gundhum in Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh and Bolibazar in Myanmar.

Foreign Advisor Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury is to sign a deal during his visit to Myanmar next month, United News of Bangladesh - reported Sunday.

The Bangladeshi move comes as Myanmar seeks to link with up India by road and by sea to make an otherwise difficult terrain that has been a hotbed of long running insurgencies economically viable.

India has also been negotiating the purchase of gas from Myanmar. Its efforts to buy gas from Bangladesh have not succeeded.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have also planned to build a longer cross-border highway to link western Myanmar's Rakhine state and Bangladesh's Chittagong province.

A memorandum of understanding to build the proposed 133-km highway was signed in April 2004.

According to Xinhua, Myanmar and Bangladesh are engaged more in border trade than normal trade. Myanmar's exports to Bangladesh cover marine products, beans and pulses, and kitchen crops. Its imports include pharmaceuticals, ceramic, cotton fabric, raw jute, kitchenware and cosmetics.

According to local reports, bilateral trade between Myanmar and Bangladesh reached over $60 million in fiscal 2005-06, up 20 percent from 2000-01's $50 million.

Of this, Myanmar's exports to Bangladesh stood at $55 million. The two countries are striving to increase their bilateral trade to $100 million.

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