Modi’s US visit could boost regional Asian ties

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 25, 2014 22:17 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US could boost cooperation between India, Japan and the US with the three countries likely to agree on building new economic corridors along the route connecting South Asia with South East Asia via Myanmar.

This plan where Myanmar is a key factor is significant, coming at a time when China is aggressively following trade link routes in the region, including in the Indian Ocean, and will benefit India’s northeastern region economically.

“Japan is keen to invest in the infrastructure sector in the northeast,” an official familiar with the development said.

“This was something which was also discussed during secretary of state John Kerry’s visit to India. The plan will also have economic corridors,” he added.

India is working with China on the Bangladesh China India and Myanmar (BCIM) corridor, but Chinese plans of a maritime silk route and Beijing warming up to countries like Maldives and Sri Lanka have caused unease in New Delhi about China’s strategic designs in Indian Ocean.

China also opposed an Asian Development Bank loan for development work in Arunachal Pradesh in 2007 calling it a disputed territory.

Myanmar is the only country India shares a land boundary with among the 10-member Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) countries.

The Prime Minister will meet US President Barack Obama during his US visit and the two countries will discuss ways to increase coordination and cooperation in their ties with third world countries, including Afghanistan and African nations.

Modi left for the US on Thursday to attend both the United Nations General Assembly as well as the summit meeting with President Obama.

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