NEW DELHI: It is not just Iran’s Chabahar port and connectivity to Eurasia that has caught attention of the Modi government. India plans to set up a Special Economic Zone in Sittwe in Myanmar where it has already built a port. The proposed SEZ by India will rival Chinese SEZ located 80 km down of strategically located Sittwe as Delhi plans to make it as an economic hub.
The aim of the SEZ is to help expand India’s footprints in South East Asia amid China plans fir massive road and port connectivity projects in the region as part of its One Belt One Road initiative. India’s plan for SEZ was explained by MoS External Affairs V K Singh at the India-ASEAN Foreign Ministers meet at Laos earlier this week.
This SEZ will be located about 37 miles upstream of Sittwe town, officials familiar with the development told ET. The SEZ is being planned at Ponnagyun township, the officials added. 1,000 acres of land available for development of the SEZ. Chinese Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone and port is around 80 km down of the SEZ, officials pointed out. According to people familiar with the developments this SEZ is aimed at providing China direct overview of busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean Region.
Sittwe Port is a deepwater port on the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Situated at the mouth of the Kaladan river, the port estimated at $ 120 million has been financed by India as a part of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project. The port is being funded through a long-term interest-free credit line from India.
Source: Economic Times