Myanmar cuts Chinese investment in Port project

Beijing: Myanmar’s deputy Minister of Finance Set Aung recently announced the downsizing of the Kyaukpyu Deepwater Port project, a part of China’s One Belt One Road programme over concerns about falling into a debt trap.

Originally, around $7.3 billion was slated to be invested in the project, with the scope now reduced to $1.3 billion, with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicating that negotiations were still ongoing, Chinascope cited Chinese media house Sina as reporting.

China’s CITIC Group, which is the primary developer of the port, suggested that the $1.3 billion investment was for the “initial phase”, one of the four phases of the project.

The project was slated to build as many as 10 berths for large oil tankers in the deep-water port, with that number now being curtailed to two.

Myanmar’s government had earlier clarified that it will not grant sovereign guarantees for loans to the project and that a third-party independent audit on the project spending was prerequisite for the project.

The Port of Kyaukpyu is situated at the entry point of the China-Myanmar Oil and Gas Pipeline.