On April 02 2008, India and Burma signed the agreement on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTT), a cooperative endeavor financed by India at a cost of $120 million. As a part of India's Look East Policy, the aim of the project is to further increase the Indo-Burma economic relationship as well as provide additional opportunities to connect commerce with India's seven sister states in the Northeast. Despite being signed in 2008, construction under the agreement only began last year, according to imagery analysis. Press reporting indicates the project is currently being executed in three stages: 1) dredging and modernizing Sittwe port, 2) dredging sections of the Kaladan River for large ship access, and 3) constructing roads from the Paletwa river to the Indian state of Mizoram. The Indian conglomerate the Essar Group was awarded the contract for the initial stage and will reportedly modernize the port on 70,000 sq meters of reclaimed land, (the activity observed above). However it should be noted, the KMMTT is just one of many infrastructure projects in which India is currently involved. Others include the Tamanthi and Shwezaye hydropower projects as well as the development of Burma's offshore Shwe oil and natural gas fields. That said, the KMMTT is by far the most important of the three and was primarily promoted by India as a way to create links with West Bengal and India's oldest port of Kolkata. Since 2006, bilateral trade has more than doubled to $1.5 billion, leading many to see the KMMTT as a promoter of future growth. For India, enhanced economic ties are particularly important as lost investment opportunities (e.g. the Lido highway and Tamanthi dam projects) due to other regional competitors (read: China) have presented further challenges in "Looking East." With Burma's increasing pro-market oriented reforms, it's not an exaggeration to say that now is the perfect time for India to increase cooperation as prospects for economic growth are on the rise. Imagery Timeline MSI on 19 October 2010 acquired from Digital Globe MSI on 14 January 2012 acquired by Geo Eye MSI on 17 April 2011 acquired by Digital Globe shows dredging equipment (red arrow) and preliminary activity since 19 October 2010.