BANGKOK: The multi-billion 1,632km India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, to be completed by 2015, would boost trade and business between the two Asian countries, Indian ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa said on Sunday.
Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of a function to mark the arrival of the 10th international flight of SpiceJet from Bangalore to Bangkok, Wadhwasaid under the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation framework, “we have invested $258 million on the highway that falls in our part”.
“We are constructing 71 bridges on the entire length,” he said, adding “we have provided a $500-million loan to Myanmar for setting up the road network”.
He said air traffic between India and Thailand was over 156 flights per week.
Bangkok is currently connected by air to 10 Indian destinations. “These are certainly a positive trend for airlines operating from India.”
The envoy said the lure of Thailand is catching up, as over 1.15 million Indian tourists went there last year. He added, “Around 88,000 Thai visitors visited India, mainly to Buddhist pilgrimage sites.”
“I expect these numbers would definitely increase this year.”
Wadhwa said besides shooting of films, a new phenomenon has been that Indians have chosen Thailand as a favourite wedding destination.
“The value of this business alone is estimated to be around 30-40 billion Baht a year with an annual growth of approximately 15-20 per cent,” he said.
“Our estimate is around 300 Indian weddings plus seminars and company meets would be held in Thailand this year.”