The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$484-million (624.52-billion-kyat) loan to construct a new expressway connecting Bago Region and Mon State, which lie along Japan’s planned East-West Economic Corridor, a grand infrastructure scheme for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
The ADB said the new GMS expressway will connect Bago, the capital of Bago Region, and Kyaikhto in Mon State, boosting Myanmar’s connectivity with Thailand and other countries along the GMS corridor and promoting trade, tourism and investment.
Under Japan’s grand plan for the Mekong subregion, Myanmar lies on two major economic corridors: the East-West Economic Corridor connecting Vietnam’s Dong Ha City with Yangon’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) via Cambodia and Thailand; and the Southern Economic Corridor from central Vietnam, through Cambodia and Thailand to the planned Dawei SEZ in southeastern Myanmar.
The East-West corridor plan aims to improve connectivity between Bangkok and Yangon and help businesses in the Thai capital extend their supply chains to Yangon and the Thilawa SEZ. Backed by Japan and situated on the Yangon River estuary in Myanmar’s commercial hub, the Thilawa project is the country’s first SEZ.