Myanmar to conduct inland ports consultation


Cargo boats docked on the bank of the Ayeyarwady river in Mandalay, northern Myanmar. Photo: AFP

As part of its plans to expand Myanmar's economy, the government will open consultations on Saturday with regional authorities to initiate six new inland water port terminals, four on the Ayeyarwaddy River and two on the Chindwin River.

The consultations are part of the implementation of Myanmar's National Transport Master Plan, which aims to boost Myanmar's economy by making transportation of goods easier along the country’s rivers. The ports will be built with investment channeled through the country's recently enacted Investment Law, which supports local economic growth by facilitating and empowering regional-level investment.

U Thant Sin Maung, Union Minister of Transport and Communications, who is leading the consultations, stated:

"These ports are a critical part of our national plan to transform Myanmar's economy. Immediately, they will enhance regional development and create jobs, while in the long-term they will increase economic growth by facilitating the transport of goods and people within the country."

The new ports will reduce transportation costs by increasing shipping capacity and implementing a new "Door-to-Door" system, which will provide access to larger markets. They will also uplift job opportunities for central Myanmar, in the Magway and Sagaing regions.

The ports will be built at Sinkham, Mandalay, Pakkoku and Magway on the Ayeyarwaddy and then Kalewa and Monywa on the Chindwin.

The National Transport Master Plan aims to improve daily life in Myanmar by providing the country with safe, efficient, and affordable transport systems. Launched in December 2014, the plan describes Myanmar's goals for infrastructure development across road, rail, waterways, aviation, and maritime transport. The plan is part of the government's efforts to strengthen people-to-people connectivity; increase the economy's efficiency, which will narrow the gap between rich and poor; and improve living standards, education, healthcare, and other services across the country's regions.

This development will be supported by Myanmar's new Investment Law, which is designed to increase investor confidence by creating a more attractive and investor-friendly domestic economic environment.

The Law also promotes state and regional level investment by empowering local governments to make investments of up to USD 5 million and receive tax exemptions to facilitate the investment.

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