GUWAHATI: Union minister of ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal and deputy prime minister of Myanmar Admiral Tin Aung San, on Tuesday, jointly inaugurated the Sittwe port in Myanmar.

Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal also received the first Indian cargo ship, which was flagged off from Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata.

The Sittwe port in Myanmar has been developed as part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) funded under grant in aid and assistance from the Indian government.

Once fully operational, the Sittwe port will link the East coast of India with the northeastern states, resulting in considerable savings of cost and time as well as providing an alternative route for the bottlenecked region, to access international sea routes via the Sittwe port.

The seaport with a maximum capacity of 20,000 DWT will make Sittwe the maritime hub of Myanmar, drastically reducing transportation cost of cargo from other parts of the country to the Northeast, opening up unprecedented avenues of economic growth for the region.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Sonowal said, “This will promote trade connectivity and people-to-people ties between India and Myanmar and the wider region, and will help boost the economic development of the northeastern states under the Act East Policy of the government.”

Sonowal in his speech highlighted the close historical, cultural and economic ties between India and Myanmar, particularly the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

The Minister reiterated India’s longstanding commitment towards the development and prosperity of the people of Myanmar through developmental initiatives like the Sittwe Port.

The KMTTP, which comprises four sections, from India to Sittwe Port via maritime shipping, from Sittwe to Paletwa via Kaladan river, from Paletwa to Indo-Myanmar border via road and from the border to our National Highways via road.