China’s top plan­ning agency dou­bles down on Belt and Road col­lab­o­ra­tion

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Business - HTET SHINE htet­[email protected]­times.com

NING Jizhe, vice chair of China’s top plan­ning agency Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion (NDRC), vis­ited Myan­mar from Novem­ber 24 to 27. The visit is built on the con­sen­sus reached by State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and China’s leader Xi Jin­ping at the end of 2017, with re­gards to the China-myan­mar Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CMEC).

Mr. Ning vis­ited the sites of CITIC Group, China Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­struc­tion Com­pany Lim­ited (CCCC), China Rail­way Group Lim­ited (CRG) and Yun­nan Pro­vin­cial En­ergy In­vest­ment Group Co., Ltd. (YEIG).

CITIC leads a con­sor­tium which was cho­sen by the gov­ern­ment as the de­vel­oper of a pro­posed deep-sea port in Kyauk­phyu, cen­tral Rakhine. CCCC, a China sta­te­owned com­pany and was sanc­tioned by the World Bank for its fraud and cor­rup­tion prac­tices from Jan­uary 2009 un­til Jan­uary 2017, signed an agree­ment with a re­gional body to pre­pare a de­tailed in­fras­truc­ture pro­posal for an am­bi­tious new Yan­gon city project.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Chi­nese em­bassy in Yan­gon on Novem­ber 28, Myan­mar cre­ated a “Belt and Road im­ple­men­ta­tion steer­ing com­mit­tee”, which is chaired by the state coun­selor and in­cludes chief min­is­ters from sub-na­tional gov­ern­ments as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous de­part­ments.

This year, the frame­work agree­ment for Kyauk­phyu’s port and a MOU for the fea­si­bil­ity re­search of Muse-man­dalay rail­road project were signed.

In ad­di­tion, ne­go­ti­a­tions were also made for co­op­er­a­tion on new Yan­gon city project.and China-myan­mar bor­der “eco­nomic zones”.

China-myan­mar Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CMEC) stretches from China’s Yun­nan to Myan­mar’s Yan­gon and Kyauk­phyu area. The des­ig­nated lo­ca­tions are the key ar­eas for the bi­lat­eral col­lab­o­ra­tion in trade and in­vest­ment, ac­cord­ing to the em­bassy’s press re­lease.

The state­ment added that by set­ting up the CMEC, the ba­sic in­fra­struc­tures of the two coun­tries can be con­nected and co­op­er­a­tion will be pro­moted on sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture, en­ergy, fi­nanc­ing, tourism, “dig­i­tal silk road” and bor­der trad­ing zone.

China is Myan­mar’s big­gest for­eign in­vestor in terms of ap­proved FDI.

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