LaRouche's Four Powers in Motion: India To Sign Strategic Port Agreement with Myanmar
October 18, 2007 • 10:27AM

Virtually ignoring domestic and international pressure to act tough against the Myanmar junta, New Delhi's Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has indicated that it will sign an agreement with the Burmese military junta to develop the port of Sittwe, officials in Delhi have stated. They hope the port will allow easy and cheap transport of goods to India's remote, restive north-eastern states. India will put $103 million into the project, despite international calls for sanctions against the military rulers of Myanmar.

Sittwe is situated on the eastern shore of the Andaman Sea—an access to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea for a number of nations including China.

"We are now in a final stages of negotiations and the agreement should be through within a month," said an Indian foreign ministry official, who did not wish to be named. Under the agreement, India will develop the port and put in place facilities to use the Kaladan river. Goods will then be easily shipped from ports in eastern India and taken to the landlocked northeast Indian states in smaller vessels. Logistics experts say it will take three years to complete the project after the agreement is signed. "Once that happens it will hugely benefit northeast India and save transport costs to the region by 40%, even 50%," said Atin Sen of the Kolkata-based Asian Council of Logistics Management.