In­dia wants coastal ship­ping with Myan­mar

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS - Su­bir Bhaumik

In­dia has pitched for a coastal ship­ping agree­ment with Myan­mar on the lines of the agree­ment it signed with Bangladesh. This will bring down trad­ing and trans­port costs sharply and lead to a re­duc­tion of turn­around time which again im­pacts on costs. In­dia has al­ready agreed a di­rect con­tainer ship­ping ser­vice be­tween In­dia and Myan­mar from the Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam port in Andhra Pradesh state in Oct 2014. This ser­vice is ex­pected to change the way sea trade has been so far on the East Coast. The new ser­vice, with the 1,200 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equiv­a­lent Units) ves­sel MV Ka­mal, will con­nect Chen­nai-Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam-Yan­gonColombo. It is ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate faster trade at lower cost. Cap­tain S Narula, di­rec­tor, liner and pas­sen­ger ser­vices, SCI, told re­porters that the ser­vice will be turned into a weekly one if the cargo traf­fic goes up. He said they planned to in­crease the ves­sel to 2,500 TEUs in the sec­ond phase and even­tu­ally to 4,500 TEUs.

The bulk of the cargo which the ves­sel will carry to Myan­mar will be ce­ment and the SCI hopes to di­ver­sify the cargo. Vinita Venkatesh, di­rec­tor, Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port Con­tainer Terminal, said In­dia has been im­port­ing pulses from Myan­mar but was not ex­port­ing any goods. “Now the ex­ports of ce­ment will bring down the costs of im­ports,” she said. The Ob­server Re­search Foun­da­tion is con­duct­ing a de­tailed study on the pros and cons of a pos­si­ble In­di­aMyan­mar coastal ship­ping ar­range­ment. "So far our re­search seems to in­di­cate bright prospects. Trade will sharply rise be­tween the two coun­tries if such an agree­ment hap­pens and is backed by two way ship­ping traf­fic," Ana­sua Basu Ray­chaud­hury, a se­nior ORF fel­low with its Neigh­bour­hood Re­gional Stud­ies Ini­tia­tive, told Mizzima. She will soon visit Myan­mar for the fi­nal leg of her re­search.

Ship in Yan­gon Port. Photo: EPA

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