Agartala, Oct 10 (UNI) Union Commerce Ministry has finalised the procedures to move forward with the proposed project enabling North East (NE) states to conduct trade directly with South East Asia through Sittwe port of Myanmar, bypassing Bangladesh.
Senior officials of the ministry said here today the development of the port was part of the Kaladan multi-modal transport Project, envisaged to facilitate movement of cargo vessels from NE states via Mizoram through Kaladan river, to Sittwe.
They asserted the papers were lying with the Myanmar authority, who had already given indication to sign the trade deal and India was going ahead with signing the agreement with the militant junta paving the way for development of the Sittwe Port.
According to the officials, Minister of state for Commerce Jairam Ram had initiated the mission to set up bilateral trade relation with Myanmar and india is likely to seal the deal in next two to three weeks.
Earlier, India had announced to invest about 103 million US dollar in the construction of a port in Sittwe town of Myanmar's Rakhine State, while Myanmar has agreed to spend 10 million US dollar in the joint venture project, which would likely to be completed by 2010.
The project would not only benefit NE states, but also be an exit point to mainland India that lies about 12 hours route from Haldia, 36 hours from Vishakapatnam.