Myanmar negotiating with Chinese consortium on deep-sea port project in Rakhine state

YANGON (XINHUA) - Myanmar is negotiating with a Chinese consortium to carry out a strategic deep-sea port in Kyaukphyu, western Rakhine state, as part of the planned special economic zone in the region, according to a report of the official Global New Light of Myanmar on Sunday (July 8).

The negotiation between Myanmar's Commerce Ministry and the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) is expected to reach an agreement soon.

The Kyaukphyu deep-sea port project represents part of the economic corridor of China's Belt and Road Initiative and the two countries are approaching this in a way to ensure it become a win-win situation all round, said Myanmar Minister of Commerce Than Myint.

The sea-port project will bring about the development of Rakhine state, the emergence of job opportunities for local people and the development of the country, said Dr Than Myint.

A consortium of six group companies, led by China's CITIC, won tender in December 2015 for the implementation of two projects - an industrial park and a deep sea port on 1,737 hectares of land, two of the three components of the project of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone.

The CITIC Consortium also comprises China Harbour Engineering Company, China Merchants Holdings (International), TEDA Investment Holding, and Yunnan Construction Engineering Group, as well as Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group Company.

The CITIC Consortium will form project joint ventures together with Myanmar local enterprises for the construction and operation of the two projects which will be implemented under the framework of the "Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law" promulgated by Myanmar government in 2014.

The deep-sea port project consists of the Madae Island Terminal and Yanbye Island Terminal, totally with 10 berths. It also includes the road and bridge connecting the industrial park and deep sea port. The deep sea port project will be constructed in four phases, with a total construction duration of 20 years.

After the completion of project, the expected annual capacity of the deep sea port will be 7.8 million tons of bulk cargo and 4.9 million TEU containers. With the increased container throughput, the deep sea port may update to the complete container terminals, with the annual capacity of 7 million TEU containers.

Myanmar's parliament voiced support of the Special Economic Zone project saying that it would be beneficial for the economic growth of the country, particularly for that of Rakhine state, while CITIC consortium said the Special Economic Zone development would improve local people's employment and livelihood as more than 100,000 new jobs will be created for local people every year.

By the year of 2025, 90 per cent of the project managers' positions will be undertaken by Myanmar local people. Once in full operation, the two projects will bring approximately US$10 billion (S$13.6 billion) in annual GDP growth for Myanmar.

According to the plan, Myanmar government will accumulatively receive US$15 billion of tax revenue from the two projects during the whole concession period. When the concession period is expired, both projects will be handed over to the Myanmar government.

CITIC consortium has pledged to build a "green, environment-friendly, beautiful" industrial park and deep sea port with consistent environmental evaluation to be made during the operation period, while attaching importance to corporate social responsibility and public welfare.