India, Myanmar inaugurate Sittwe Port to enhance regional trade and connectivity

The project was conceptualized to provide an alternative connectivity of Mizoram with Haldia/Kolkata/any Indian ports through Kaladan River in Myanmar.

Livemint
Updated9 May 2023
India, Myanmar inaugurate Sittwe Port. (Photo: Twitter)
India, Myanmar inaugurate Sittwe Port. (Photo: Twitter)

New Delhi: India and Myanmar on Tuesday inaugurated the Sittwe Port in Rakhine State on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in enhancing bilateral and regional trade, as well as contributing to the local economy of the state. The operationalisation of Sittwe Port will provide greater connectivity, lead to employment opportunities and enhanced growth prospects in the region.

Union minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Myanmar’s deputy prime minister and Union minister for Transport & Communications, Admiral Tin Aung San, were present at the inauguration ceremony. The two ministers received the first Indian cargo ship which was flagged off from Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata.

According to the ministry, the project was conceptualized to provide an alternative connectivity of Mizoram with Haldia/Kolkata/any Indian ports through Kaladan River in Myanmar.

The project envisages highway/road transport from Mizoram to Paletwa in Myanmar, followed by Inland Water Transport (IWT) from Paletwa to Sittwe, and finally maritime shipping from Sittwe to any port in India, it added.

The Sittwe Port has been developed as a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) funded under grant-in-aid assistance from the Government of India. Once fully operationalized, the waterway and road components of KMTTP will link the East coast of India to the North-eastern states through the Sittwe port.

During the inauguration ceremony, Sonowal highlighted the historical, cultural and economic ties between India and Myanmar, particularly the Rakhine State of Myanmar. He reiterated India’s longstanding commitment towards the development and prosperity of the people of Myanmar through developmental initiatives such as the Sittwe Port.

The development of Sittwe Port is expected to boost trade between the two nations and contribute to the economic growth of the region. The port’s location makes it strategically important for India’s Act East Policy, which aims to strengthen ties with the Asia-Pacific region.

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