Part of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rakhine State and a key component to the China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), itself part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the construction of Kyaukphyu deep-sea port is slated to kick off soon according to an announcement by the Ministry of Commerce.
Deputy Minister of Commerce U Aung Htoo said “We are working to form a company to construct the deep-sea port. We recently reached consensus for the company’s constitution (and) already proposed the list of directors, so I am confident that we will move forward on the construction of the deep-sea port project soon.”
The project is crucial for China as it will provide the Asian juggernaut with direct access to the Indian Ocean, allowing its oil imports to bypass the Strait of Malacca. The project has been discussed for over 5 years and was again the center of discussions when China’s president Xi Jinping visited Myanmar on January 17-18 this year, the first visit by a Chinese president in almost 20 years.