China has signed an agreement with Myanmar to invest and develop Kyaukphyu port in Rakhine State into a major container port as part of a package of agreements signed between the countries spanning infrastructure, power and trade during Chinese president Xi’s visit to Myanmar last weekend.
Beijing aims to build the deep-sea port into a major container ports in Asia to serve as a gateway for Myanmar and ASEAN countries to India, Africa and the Middle East.
Myanmar invited bidders to develop the Kyaukpyu port area in 2014 and a consortium of six companies led by China’s CITIC Group won the tender in 2015 and struck a deal with Myanmar last week after a lengthy negotiation on the development plan of the project.
According to CITIC, the first stage project involves the construction of two berths with a total investment of $1.3bn The construction of the port will soon commence after completing economic and social impact assessments.
Beijing believes the signing of cooperative agreements marks a significant step in translating the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) from a concept into a substantive planning and a important milestone for its Belt and Road Initiative.