Freeing Commerce in Eastern India

By 2015, a US$214 million port project at the town of Sittwe, at the mouth of the Kaladan River on the Myanmar side of the Bay of Bengal, is expected to provide the 60 million people of landlocked far eastern India vital access to commerce by sea. Sittwe, population 180,000, is the capital of the troubled Arakan Province, the scene of Buddhist-Rohingya violence earlier this year. The seven states of eastern India are only accessible to the rest of the country via the Siliguri Corridor, nicknamed the Siliguri chicken's neck, a narrow strip wedged between China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Routing cargo through the corridor causes delays and raises costs. Despite long-running negotiations for sea transit access, Bangladesh has never agreed to allow Indian ships access.

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