Troubled Rakhine state woos foreign investment

One of Myanmar's poorest states is set to hold its first investment fair this week

Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
A construction site for the Sittwe Waterfront Project, a joint venture between a South Korean firm and the Rakhine state government. The 36ha waterfront plot will be transformed into a new downtown area. Pre-sale exhibitions held in Sittwe and Yangon early last year generated bookings of 30 per cent of the land available, with over half the investors from within Rakhine state. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
The area on Made Island in Kyaukphyu, where a new China-backed deep-sea port and special economic zone will be built in the years to come, to complement an oil facility that allows Middle Eastern petrol to be unloaded and pumped via pipelines to China. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine state (above); the streets of downtown Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine; and the commuter harbour in Kyaukphyu, in Rakhine. Human rights group Fortify Rights urges caution over the rush to generate foreign investment, warning that, for example, because of severe restrictions on mobility placed on Rohingya within Rakhine state, “potential investors would be at risk of complicity in upholding an apartheid situation”. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine state; the streets of downtown Sittwe (above), the capital of Rakhine; and the commuter harbour in Kyaukphyu, in Rakhine. Human rights group Fortify Rights urges caution over the rush to generate foreign investment, warning that, for example, because of severe restrictions on mobility placed on Rohingya within Rakhine state, “potential investors would be at risk of complicity in upholding an apartheid situation”. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
Left: At this facility on Made Island, Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, oil tankers unload their shipments, which are pumped across pipelines that cross upper Myanmar into China. From left: A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine s
A single-carriage train travelling slowly along tracks in Rakhine state; the streets of downtown Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine; and the commuter harbour (above) in Kyaukphyu, in Rakhine. Human rights group Fortify Rights urges caution over the rush to generate foreign investment, warning that, for example, because of severe restrictions on mobility placed on Rohingya within Rakhine state, “potential investors would be at risk of complicity in upholding an apartheid situation”. ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE
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Backhoes flatten seaborne earth for an upcoming waterfront project in Sittwe, western Myanmar, as officials sharpen their pitch to investors to accelerate development in troubled Rakhine state.

Myanmar's second poorest state is gearing up for its first ever investment fair on Thursday. This will be held over three days in the tranquil surroundings of Ngapali beach, a resort area far from the violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2019, with the headline Troubled Rakhine state woos foreign investment. Subscribe