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Sittwe Port- India’s second overseas port

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, India secured operational rights for its second overseas port, Sittwe in Myanmar.
  • India Ports Global (IPGL), wholly owned by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, will assume control of port operations.

About Sittwe Port

  • Sittwe Port’s coastal position grants it access to key maritime trade routes, establishing it as a vital gateway for both regional and international commerce.
  • Positioned at the mouth of the Kaladan River, which empties into the Bay of Bengal, the port enjoys a strategic location that enhances its significance in facilitating trade and transportation activities.
  • The port’s construction as part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project underscores India’s strategic interest in enhancing connectivity and trade opportunities in the region.
  • Sittwe Port’s status as a deepwater port enables it to accommodate large vessels, facilitating efficient loading and unloading operations.

Strategic Implications for India

  • Alternative Trade Route: Sittwe Port provides a crucial alternative trade route for goods from India’s northeastern region. This diversification reduces dependency on congested land routes, offering a smoother and cost-effective pathway for trade.
  • Maritime Connectivity: Situated near the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, Sittwe Port enhances India’s maritime connectivity. Its strategic location facilitates efficient trade routes, contributing to regional economic integration and bolstering India’s maritime influence.
  • Counterbalancing China: India’s acquisition of Sittwe Port serves as a strategic move to counterbalance China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. By securing a foothold in Myanmar through the port, India strengthens its economic and naval capabilities, signalling its commitment to safeguarding its interests amidst increasing Chinese assertiveness.

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