The Irrawaddy: China’s Strategic Port Project Moves Step Closer to Reality as Myanmar OKs Joint Venture
Tue August, 2020, Age: 4 years
Last week, the Myanmar government approved the establishment of a joint venture between Chinese company CITIC and a government-backed committee to develop the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and strategic deep-sea port in western Rakhine State. The project will provide China with direct access to the Indian Ocean, allowing its oil imports to bypass the Strait of Malacca. According to a renegotiated 2018 framework agreement, the first phase of the project will be implemented with a $1.5 billion dollar budget. The full project is anticipated to cover 4,300 acres and will include an industrial zone wtih facilities for textile and garment manufacturing, construction materials processing, food processing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, marine supplies and services, and research. The approval marks a step forward for the long-delayed China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).