China bags $1.3bn Myan­mar port deal

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Front Page - Su­tirtho Pa­tra­nobis su­tirtho.pa­tra­nobis@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

BEI­JING: In­dia will be closely fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments af­ter an agree­ment be­tween China and Myan­mar Thurs­day to de­velop a multi-bil­lion dol­lar deep sea port at Kyaukpyu on the Bay of Ben­gal. Lo­cated on the western coast of Myan­mar in Rakhine state, the scaled-down port, part of an SEZ, will not be far from a sub­ma­rine base In­dia is de­vel­op­ing on its east coast, close to Visakhapatnam. It will be the third China-built port in In­dia’s neigh­bour­hood, af­ter Gwadar in Pak­istan and Ham­ban­tota in SriLanka. China is also fund­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Chit­tagong port in Bangladesh. Though the to­tal in­vest­ment by China and Myan­mar in the Kyaukpyu project has been scaled­down to $1.3 bil­lion for the ini­tial phase, from an ear­lier fig­ure of $7 bil­lion, the up­com­ing port will be of great strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance.

BEI­JING : In­dia will be closely fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments fol­low­ing an agree­ment be­tween China and Myan­mar on Thurs­day to de­velop a multi-bil­lion dol­lar deep sea port at Kyaukpyu on the Bay of Ben­gal.

Lo­cated on the western coast of Myan­mar in Rakhine state, the scaled-down port, part of a spe­cial eco­nomic zone (SEZ), will not be far from a sub­ma­rine base In­dia is de­vel­op­ing on its east coast, close to Visakhapatnam.

It will be the third China-built port in In­dia’s neigh­bour­hood, af­ter Gwadar in Pak­istan and Ham­ban­tota in Sri Lanka. China is also fund­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Chit­tagong port in Bangladesh.

Though the to­tal in­vest­ment by China and Myan­mar in the Kyaukpyu project has been scaled down to $1.3 bil­lion for the ini­tial phase, from an ear­lier fig­ure of $7 bil­lion, the up­com­ing port will be of great strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance to Bei­jing as it nav­i­gates its way into the Bay of Ben­gal and the In­dian Ocean, con­sid­ered within New Delhi’s sphere of in­flu­ence.

Oil and nat­u­ral gas pipe­lines are al­ready func­tion­ing be­tween the fish­ing town of Kyaukpyu and Kun­ming in China’s Yun­nan prov­ince, bor­der­ing Myan­mar.

For Myan­mar, the project promises em­ploy­ment to 100,000 and $15 bil­lion in tax rev­enues in fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to China’s state me­dia. Re­ports said the port will have an “an­nual gross out­put of $3.2 bil­lion”.

The deal took years to fi­nalise be­cause of dif­fer­ences on “fi­nanc­ing and other is­sues”, the Global Times tabloid re­ported. “At a cer­e­mony in Nay Pyi Taw, the Chi­nese con­sor­tium led by State-owned con­glom­er­ate Citic Group signed the frame­work agree­ment with the Kyaukpyu Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee on the de­vel­op­ment of the deep-sea port,” the re­port said.

AP

■ Myan­mar’s com­merce min­is­ter Than Myint (right) with Chi­nese am­bas­sador Hong Liang in Naypy­itaw.

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