A new deep-sea port will form the core of a new economic partnership between China and Myanmar after the two countries struck a series of infrastructure deals as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
According to international reports, the two parties agreed to develop a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kyaukpyu in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which will revolve around the new port.
Further reports say the port will be developed by a consortium led by state firm CITIC.
The objective of the plan is to rejuvenate the region and connect it to major shipping lanes which in turn will see it import and export energy and goods, in particular from the Middle East and Africa.
The region is already the site of twin pipelines through which oil produced in Myanmar is delivered and exported to China.
It is one of 33 deals signed between China and Myanmar that comprise the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor during Xi Jinping’s two-day state-visit, the first by a Chinese leader in 19 years.
The BRI is Beijing’s plan to redraw the global economy and involves the building of ports, railways, roads and much else across Asia and Europe. It is estimated to cost $1 trillion.