Fri 20 Sep 2013
Filed under: Business / Trade,News,Regional
According to a recent report by Myanmar media, the Kyaukphyu – Kunming railway that will link the deep-water port in Rhakine state with China might be completed in 2015. The Railway is an extension of the Kyaukphyu- Ruili Transportation Plan and will be linked to the Myanmar national railway currently under construction.
The railway will also connect the established railways and those under construction through the Rhakine state, Magway province, Mandalay province and the Shan state, as well as the railways to Kyaukphyu inside the Rhakine state. In addition, it will include a 95-mile long new railway (Minbu-Badan- Kyaukphyu). When completed, it will be linked to Minbu-Magway- Mandalay- Lasho and Muse. The plan for a cross-border railway between Muse and Jiegao in China has been established. If realized, the Shan State of Myanmar will be connected to Yunnan. It will become the grand land transportation channel for Yunnan, which will make Mandalay and Magway key economic centers of Myanmar.
This railway will be a key channel to the sea for Chinese products. By then , there will be a large number of container bases and warehouses in Mandalay and Kyaukphyu. Kyaukphyu will be built into a special industrial zone and China will provide more direct investment.
Good news for Yunnan’s industrial development
Kyaukphyu, a natural port, is located on the west coast of Myanmar. The direct distance to Kunming is slightly longer than that between Yunnan and Fangcheng port in Guangxi province. Myanmar officials had commented in Yunnan that Yunnan’s current plans for building transportation routes with Myanmar focused on highways, which have limited transportation capability; railway was a better choice. Currently, Yunnan is building railways from Dali to Ruili and from Ruili to Myanmar. Once all the planned railways are completed, together with the Shanghai-Kunming, Yunnan-Guangxi railways currently under construction, and the Sichuan-Kunming railway under planning, all products to be shipped from China via the Indian Ocean could use this new route, bringing good news to Yunnan’s industrial development.
The Kunming- Kyaukphyu railway project is low cost and does not present much technical difficulty. Upon completion, Kunming will have more direct and convenient access to broad market and resources via the Indian Ocean. With convenient, economical and stable sea access, Yunnan will become the frontline of China’s foreign trade. The benefits to China and Myanmar will be a model for countries around the Bay of Bengal.
Currently, Myanmar is interested in building a special economic zone in Kyaukphyu with China. The extensive cooperation will be based on Yunnan companies, who will actively participant in the early design, operation, and management of the port through joint ventures and a market-based business model. Kyaukphyu will be built into a massive product processing and distribution base in a tax-protected zone that combines shipment, storage and processing. It will become the sea outlet and economic platform to allow the Chinese and Yunnan economies to march into the world.