China agrees to continue Kyaukpyu project based on results

The first phase of Kyaukpyu deep seaport project will be implemented with US$1.3 billion investment and China agreed to continue the project based on economic gains, said Dr Than Myint, Union Minister for Commerce and Chairman of Central Committee of Special Economic Zone.

“The investment is US$1.3 billion for the first phase of the project. We initially intended to build two big ports here. One port has six wharfs and another port has four wharfs. The plan now is that we will first build two wharfs with an expected the cost of around US$1.3 billion. Two big ports will cost about US$7.3 billion. We will consider carrying on with the project after the first two wharfs are built. We will use them and see the results. China agreed to it. We will proceed step by step,” said Dr Than Myint.

The framework agreement to develop the first phase of the deep seaport will be signed this year.

Although Myanmar initially agreed to let 85 per cent of the project owned by China’s CITIC, it was renegotiated during the present government’s era. CITIC has now agreed to take 70 per cent of total share now, he said.

The Kyaukpyu deep seaport can compete in storage of containers with Manila port in Philippines and Valencia port in Spain. The special economic zone, built along with the US$10 billion worth seaport, will start in this year. It has 4,200 acres in space and is expected to cost US$2.3 billion. It can attract industrial sectors such as oil refineries and garment factories, according to a report from Reuters.

Sri Lanka handed over Hambantota port to China to pay off debt during this year, which had also alerted Myanmar on the need to be weary of a debt trap with China.

“If the new agreement is made, the loan to implement the project will be included through the private sector. It cannot be tracked back to Myanmar government. At present, I am concentrating on Myanmar government to lessen its debt load,” said Sett Aung.

Source: Eleven Myanamr

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