China port pact in focus as President visits Myanmar

President Ram Nath Kovind’s first visit to Myanmar starting on Monday will be an occasion to build upon the strong bilateral relationship with India’s biggest link with the Asean region. However, with Myanmar signing the Kyaukpyu port project with China in November, officials in India are concerned that this port could become a greater security […]

China clinches multi-billion-dollar strategic port deal with Myanmar

China has clinched a multi-billion-dollar deal to build a port + at a strategic town along the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, its third project in India’s neighbourhood after Sri Lanka and Pakistan. China and Myanmar signed an agreement on Thursday to build the deep sea port project in Kyaukpyu town after […]

The EU’s Tariff Threats Against Asia’s Autocrats Risk Backfiring

The European Union is threatening to slap tariffs on Asian leaders who abuse their power, a move that risks upending several key garment-producing nations in the region. Last month, the EU told Cambodia it would start the process of withdrawing tariff-free access for most goods under the “Everything But Arms” initiative, saying its July election […]

Why India looks the other way on Myanmar

While the West moves to re-isolate Myanmar after a short period of re-engagement, neighboring India is taking a more realpolitik approach to reports of massive rights abuses by the nation’s security forces. Indeed, India is doing its utmost to improve relations while the United States and European Union impose new sanctions aimed specifically at Myanmar’s […]

China hardsells big ticket but low on trust, India’s soft power push in Myanmar education and health

As Delhi seeks to expand its engagement with Myanmar, it is in sectors such as education, health and entertainment services that India hopes to make an impact in a country crowded with several international players, and completely dominated by China. In a state-of-the art classroom at the steel and glass Myanmar Institute of Information Technology […]

Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears

Myanmar has scaled back plans for a Chinese-backed port on its western coast, sharply reducing the cost of the project after concerns it could leave the south-east Asian nation heavily indebted, a top government official and an adviser told Reuters. The Kyaukpyu port is a key part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, aimed […]

New Chair of Kyaukphyu SEZ Wary of Chinese Loans

YANGON — Myanmar will endeavor to take on no loans from China to complete the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) but would offer the developer no sovereign guarantees to mitigate risk if it does, said the project’s new chairman, seeking to allay fears of a debt trap. Sean Turnell, an economic adviser to State Counselor […]

Myanmar to trim Kyaukphyu cost but drops Annan’s strategic review suggestion

Nay Pyi Taw’s plan to reduce the cost of Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, including the proposed deep-sea port, will help cap its external debt load and avoid repeating Sri Lanka’s Hambantota’s precedent, according to London-headquartered research firm BMI Research. At the same time, a government committee has dropped any mentioning of commissioning a Strategic Environmental […]

Far from a ‘debt trap’, China’s belt and road allows countries like Myanmar to leapfrog poverty

Andre Wheeler says Western critics overlook the holistic and long-term benefits that China’s multilateral infrastructure investment programme brings to countries like Myanmar. What’s more, they aren’t offering any alternatives A plethora of articles have discussed the risks associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The discussion is often portrayed within a “winners versus losers” framework, […]

An overview of the $9bn China-backed proposal for Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port

In 2015, China’s state-owned investment giant CITIC Group won a tender to build a massive port at Kyaukpyu, a town in the west of Myanmar. The $9bn agreement was struck on the basis of CITIC assuming a 70% share, with the Myanmar government and local operators receiving the remaining 30%. Three years on, however, and […]