What is rationale and significance of Indian investment towards upgrading Sittwe port in Myanmar?
Sittwe Port is a deepwater port at Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State in Myanmar, on the Bay of Bengal. It is situated at the mouth of the Kaladan River. India has upgraded the sittwe port under the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project.
Benefits to India:
- The port will provide for a greater presence for India in the Bay of Bengal region and in the neighboring country of Myanmar. This aids in countering the influence of China in the region.
- The port is financed under the Aid to Myanmar initiative. This aids in enhancing good will in the neighboring country for India.
- Under the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project the port is connected with national highways in India. This will provide greater access to north eastern states and provides an alternative to chicken neck corridor.
- The development of sittwe reiterates India’s commitment to the Act east policy.
- With the BCIM corridor going to cold storage due to India’s reservations about the one belt one road initiative of China, the development of Sittwe port gives India an alternative.
- The port can act as a bridge between India and ASEAN countries.
- The development of port will enhance Myanmar’s connectivity and will add to the development of the whole region, particularly in the Rakhine and Chin States of Myanmar.
- It will also provide an alternate route to Kolkata.
Myanmar is India’s strategic neighbor. It shares a 1,640-km-long border with India which runs along number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. The greater cooperation and partnership will be of great aid to India.
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