India & Myanmar inaugurate Sittwe Port as Operations begin with arrival of first Indian Cargo Ship

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The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal visited the strategic Sittwe Port in the Rakhine state of Myanmar today. In a glittering ceremony, the Sittwe Port was jointly inaugurated by Union Minister Sonowal along with Deputy Prime Minister & Union Minister for Transport & Communication, Govt of Myanmar as they received the first Indian cargo ship at the port.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Today is a historic day for both India and Myanmar as we further our relationship for mutual growth & cooperation in trade and commerce with the commencement of operations at the Sittwe Port. The port provides an ample scope to unlock huge value in trade and commerce between India and Myanmar, especially between the Northeast India and Rakhine State of Myanmar.

It provides an efficient conduit for the trade interests of Northeast India for a far economical and swift transportation between Kolkata and the Northeast India. Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the work at the Sittwe Port was accelerated as we continue under Modi ji’s leadership to enable and empower the potential and possibilities of Northeast India. I must take this opportunity to thank Admiral Tin Aung San and the government of Myanmar as we further consolidate our historic ties with the commencement of Sittwe Port. India remains committed towards development and prosperity of people of Myanmar through developmental initiatives such as the Sittwe Port. I am confident that the Sittwe port will act as the gateway of India to the Southeast Asia, ushering growth & progress.”

Sittwe Port has been developed as a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) funded under grant in aid assistance from Government of India. Once fully operationalised, the Sittwe port will link the East coast of India to the North-eastern states, resulting in considerable savings in cost and time as well as providing an alternative route for the Northeast India to access International Sea Route via Sittwe port.

Adding further, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Under India’s Act East initiative, Sittwe Port is part of the $484 million Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP), being constructed by Government of India in Myanmar. The operationalisation of Sittwe Port would enhance bilateral and regional trade as well as contribute to the local economy of Rakhine State of Myanmar. The greater connectivity provided by the Port will lead to employment opportunities and enhanced growth prospects in the region. As India enters Amrit Kaal, I am confident that this important landmark will play a pivotal role in ushering growth & development for the people of the region in the days to come. Led by Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji’s Act East policy, we are striving to develop these ties for greater benefit of both nations. Apart from the Northeast India, this port will also unlock huge commercial potential for Bangladesh, Bhutan and even Nepal – apart from India and Myanmar – by acting as a bridge with the South East Asia. This is the true reflection of implementation of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ philosophy of Modi ji.”

The seaport with maximum capacity of 20,000 DWT will make Sittwe the maritime hub of Myanmar, drastically reduce transportation cost of cargo from other parts of India to the NorthEast India, opening up unprecedented avenues of economic growth in the region. KMTTP comprises 4 sections – from India to Sittwe Port via maritime shipping, from Sittwe to Paletwa via Kaladan river, from Paletwa to Indo-Myanmar border via road and from the border to our NH via road. Earlier, MV-ITT LION (V-273) was received earlier by the Union Minister Sonowal and Deputy Prime Minister of Myanmar Admiral Aung San at the newly inaugurated Sittwe port. The ship was carrying 20,000 bags containing 1,000 metric tonnes of cement. Sittwe Port has been developed under a framework agreement between India and Myanmar for the construction and operation of a Multimodal Transit Transport Facility on Kaladan river connecting the Sittwe port in Myanmar with the state of Mizoram in India. The port connects to Paletwa in Myanmar through an inland waterway and from Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram through a road component. Once fully operationalised, the Sittwe Port will provide alternate connectivity from Eastern coast of India to the North-eastern states.

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