Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Myanmar’s Deputy Prime Minister Admiral Tin Aung San jointly inaugurated the Sittwe Port in Myanmar and received the first Indian cargo ship.
The cargo ship was flagged off from Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata. With the development of Sittwe Port, the cost and time of transportation of goods between Kolkata and Agartala and Aizwal will decrease by 50%.
“This will promote trade connectivity and people-to-people ties between India and Myanmar and the wider region, and will help boost the economic development of NE states under Act East Policy of the government,” said Mr. Sonowal.
In his remarks at the inauguration ceremony, the Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways highlighted the close 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 like the Sittwe Port.
According to the statement, this project was conceptualised to provide alternative connectivity of Mizoram with Haldia / Kolkata / any Indian ports through the Kaladan river in Myanmar. The project envisages highway/road transport from Mizoram to Paletwa (Myanmar), thereafter from Paletwa to Sittwe (Myanmar) by Inland Water Transport (IWT) and from Sittwe to any port in India by maritime shipping, it added. Sittwe Port has been developed as a part of the $484 million Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) funded under grant-in-aid assistance from the Indian government.
“The seaport with maximum capacity of 20,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) will make Sittwe the maritime hub of Myanmar, drastically reduce transportation cost of cargo from other parts of India to our #NorthEast and open unprecedented avenues of economic growth in the region,” Mr. Sonowal said in a series of tweets.
The Minister further said a vibrant Sittwe Port can catapult Myanmar’s Rakhine State into a major connectivity hub. Once fully operationalised the waterway and road components of KMTTP will link the east coast of India to the north-eastern states through the Sittwe port, the statement said. The operationalisation of Sittwe Port would enhance bilateral and regional trade as well as contribute to the local economy of Rakhine State of Myanmar.
The greater connectivity provided by the Port will lead to employment opportunities and enhanced growth prospects in the region, it added. The operationalisation of Sittwe Port would enhance bilateral and regional trade as well as contribute to the local economy of Rakhine State of Myanmar.