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August 1, 2007

Deep-sea port to be built in southern coastal town
Myanmar is conducting feasibility study to build a deep-sea port in southern coastal town of Dawei in Tanintharyi division to facilitate maritime trade with neighboring countries, sources with the Ministry of Transport said on August 1.

The port project was proposed by India at a foreign ministerial meeting of the seven-member Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi- Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held in Phuket, Thailand in February 2004.

It stands as one of the priorities among future programs of the sub-regional economic grouping which originally comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Bhutan and Nepal joined the grouping later in July 2004.

On completion of the project, cargo vessels from the Middle East, Africa and Europe can avoid crossing the Malacca Strait for access to China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, experts said.

A study of the ministry also revealed that these cargo ships from the region can save about 1,250 nautical miles (2,316 nautical kilometers) and four days' time compared with transiting through Singapore.

Wednesday's local press reports also quoted marine officials as saying that once the project is implemented, it could carry out trade from the Dawei deep-sea port with Bangkok within a day which is only a 300 kilometers' voyage.

Meanwhile, Myanmar is also conducting survey to build another deep-sea port on the Maday Island in Kyaukphyu, western coastal Rakhine state, to serve as a transit trade center for goods destined to port cities of Chittagong, Yangon and Calcutta.

Kyaukphyu also stands at a point on a proposed land route connecting southwestern China's Kunming in Yunnan province with Myanmar's Sittwe through Mandalay. The overall road link between Myanmar and China under study is outlined as Kunming-Mandalay- Kyaukphyu-Sittwe. Xinhua

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