On the sidelines of the 14th East Asia Summit, India and Thailand finalised a pact for cooperation between Ranong port of Thailand and India’s Kolkata, Vishakhpatnam and Chennai.
- The pact is a step towards giving India a strategic access to South East Asia.
- It is due to the interest shown by the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) to develop Ranong port as a logistics gateway between both the countries has led to the signing of the pact and promotion of the new maritime route.
- Through the new route sea travel time will be cut to 7 days from 10 to 15 days as Ranong Port is on the west coast of Thailand.
- Currently, cargo ships from India’s Krishnapatnam Port travel to Laem Chabang Port and Bangkok Port via Malaysia.
- With the pact, Ranong Port will become the main access point for Indian goods to Thailand.
- During the meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India, through its Act East Policy is giving special attention to connectivity with the region. The pact with Thailand provides direct access for Indian ports with Thailand and it will enhance the economic cooperation between the two countries.
- Also at the meet, leaders of the both countries have appreciated their efforts in growing air connectivity between the two countries and the launch of a direct flight between Bangkok and Guwahati.
- Both leaders also discussed ways to enhance digital connectivity.
Improving connectivity is the first step in enhancing the economic partnership with any country. The sea port connectivity pact between India and Thailand is a step in the right direction. Now, more Indian goods can be exported to Thailand and vice versa.