India and Myanmar on Tuesday inaugurated the Sittwe Port in Rakhine State, marking an important milestone in boosting bilateral and regional trade as well as contributing to the state’s local economy. The commissioning of Sittwe port will provide better connectivity, increase employment opportunities and increase the scope of development in the region. The port’s location makes it strategically important for India’s Act East Policy, which aims to strengthen ties with the Asia-Pacific region.
The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal and the Deputy Prime Minister of Myanmar, Admiral Aung San were present at the inauguration ceremony. Both the ministers received the first Indian cargo ship which was flagged off from the Syama Prasad Mukherjee Port in Kolkata. According to the ministry, the Sittwe port has been developed as a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP), funded under grant-in-aid from the Government of India. Once fully operational, the waterways and road components of the KMTTP will connect India’s east coast with the North-eastern states through the Sittwe port.
During the opening ceremony, Sonowal highlighted the historical, cultural and economic ties between India and Myanmar, especially the Rakhine State of Myanmar. He reiterated India’s long-standing commitment to the development and prosperity of the people of Myanmar through developmental initiatives such as the Sittwe port.