Asian Highway Network3
India is hopeful that the mega project will continue to bring it and Pakistan closer, as a furtherance of the earlierresumption of bus and train services between the two countries after decades of hostilities.
The advanced highway network would provide for greater trade and social interactions between Asian countries,including personal contacts, project capitalizations, connections of major container terminals with transportationpoints, and promotion of tourism via the new roadways.
However, rights groups in Southeast Asia monitoring the North-South Corridor segment were concerned with theremote area's rapid development resulting in significant increases to exposure of HIV/AIDS, human trafficking andthe possible exploitation of the surrounding forests and wildlife resources.
Regional perceptions of the project
According to Om Prakash, an advisor with in New Delhi:
"It's an excellent step taken by ESCAP to gather all the Asian countries under one crown but the problem with this project is political disputes between some countries,notably Pakistan and Myanmar, which is delaying the project"
India views the project favourably since it would increase trade with its neighbours, especially Pakistan andMyanmar.
Sanjoy Hazarika of the
Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research
""The  agreement between Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand needs to be considered by India as an internationallink for trade, while retaining the presently designated AH route through Tamabil, Bangladesh, and Imphal, India."
As well, he also stated:
"Given its extensive geographical coverage and the recent move to integrate it with other means of transportation, the Asian Highway project requires collective effort and close collaboration among the Asian countries."
Highway 3 (North-South Corridor) issues
By mid-2008 the North-South Corridor segment of the Asian Highway, AH-3, was nearly fully paved, with only afew kilometers incomplete.
The North-South Corridor Project of has been part of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) agenda since 1993 andaimed to improved the connected economies of China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Theportion of the North-South Corridor known as Highway 3, which runs through northwestern Laos and connectsChina and Thailand, was expected to cost US$95.8 million and was being financed with a loan from the ADB, alongwith funds from the Chinese, Thai and Lao governments.
The completed sections of the road have gone from being little more than dirt roads a few years ago to two-laneroutes with concrete shoulders, drainage and concrete bridges. The journey from the Lao border town of Huai Xai tothe southwestern Chinese border village of Boten situated in southwestern Yunnan province took as long as two dayson the old mostly dirt road depending on weather conditions. The new roadway shortened that trip to five to sixhours.
The route was expected to be completed in 2007, but damage to the road from floods during the 2006 rainy seasonpushed the completion date into 2008. While the road was now made passable all year, there are still sections, someof several kilometers in length, which remained unfinished as of 2008.