India-built New International Sittwe Port to be opened soon

January 20, 2023. (Narinjara)


Sittwe Port, built by the Indian Government in Sittwe Rakhine State, will be designated as an international port and opened soon, the Rakhine State Government said.


The port is a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, which will be important in the trade sector between Myanmar and India. Now that all the construction work has been completed, the opening ceremony of the port will be held soon.


However the exact date of the opening ceremony has not yet been determined Rakhine State Government spokesperson and advocate-general U Hla Thein told Narinjara.


India’s Cabinet Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal also confirmed that Sittwe Port is ready for practical use, India’s NDTV News broadcasted recently.


There was originally a plan to open the new port this month, people close to the Rakhine State Government said. But at the moment, a large Indian cargo ship is heading to Sittwe, and the opening will be only be possible after the vessel docks.


On the other hand, the Junta Chief of the Military Council Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is at Ngapali beach in Thandwe Township on January 19th, to attend the 8th High-Level Committee Meeting with Chief of Defense Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces General Chalermphon Srisawasdi. There is a possibility that he will come to Sittwe to that meeting, and only then will the opening ceremony of the new port be held.


When Sittwe Port is opened, there will be direct trade between India and Rakhine State, so it will be beneficial not only for Rakhine State but also for the economy of Myanmar, REIC Rakhine Economic Initiative Public Co., Ltd Vice President U Khin Maung Gyi, a renowned Rakhine businessman, commented..


“If we get more trading freedom for Rakhine State, there offer many benefits for import and export businesses. We can already see the potential for this to happen. Rakhine State will also need to work harder to produce its main product, agricultural goods, for export to India and other countries”, he said.


The new Sittwe Port started construction in 2009 funded by India, and will be leased by the Indian Government for 30 years under the BTO system.


The port is a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, which will facilitate the trade sector between Myanmar and India.

Myanmar and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2018 to implement the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, with India committed to invest nearly US$500 million. The project aims to export goods by water from Sittwe to Paletwa, and from Paletwa to Mizoram State in India by road.


To connect Sittwe in Rakhine State and Chin State's Paletwa by waterway along the Kaladan River, proper ports need to be built in both townships. So goods can be transported from Sittwe to Paletwa along the Kaladan River, and continue the journey from there to Mizoram by road.


NDTV News also reported that a 117-kilometer-long two-lane road is now being constructed from Lawngtlai District in Mizoram to the Myanmar border. It will take some time to complete the construction of the road, but after the work is completed, the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will be fully operational.