A Chinese firm, CATIC Bejing Co., Ltd, delivered 19 dredgers and supporting vessels to Burma on Saturday at a commissioning ceremony held at Nanthida Jetty in Rangoon.
The dredgers were imported from China with assistance of a preferential loan provided by the Chinese government.
“As there are many rivers in Burma, and transportation on rivers is quite frequent, there is a dire need for these dredgers,” said Li Jin, deputy general manager of the CATIC Beijing Co Ltd.
“The channels need to be dredged at regular intervals or sludge will block them. The dredgers will improve transportation on our rivers.”
Burma’s Minister of Transport Nyan Htun Aung welcomed the delivery and said the vessels would help improve the condition of the country’s waterways.
“Because of these new dredgers and supporting vessels from China, our dredging capacity will be increased to reduce the sedimentation problem, allowing for better navigation and helping prevent floods,” he said.
He went on to say that the government was planning on reforming the water sector in order to better manage Burma’s water resources.
“I also believe that these new dredgers will contribute to our country’s economic development by facilitating the successful realisation of sustainable integrated water resources management,” said Nyan Htun Aung.
Many believe this delivery is a sign that China intends to be very much involved in Burma’s transport sector.
Chinese Ambassador to Burma, Yang Houlan, said at the ceremony that the Chinese government attached importance to Sino-Burmese cooperation in the area of transport.
Ambassador Yang said China was willing to provide aid including technical assistance to promote Burma’s economic and social development. In return, he said, Chinese enterprises would benefit from construction and port development projects.