The maritime transport is the key pillar of the international trade and global economy. Over 80% by volume and 70% by value of international trade represent Maritime trade. In Myanmar as well, Maritime trade is the backbone of international trade and country economy.
All ports of Myanmar are administered by single organization Myanma Port Authority (MPA) under the supervision of Ministry of Transport and Communications and MPA is responsible for the monitoring and facilitating policies of the country economy and the ministry to facilitate trade and the seamless flow of goods. Law, Rules and regulations regarding port operation and management are promulgated in accordance with the guidelines and instructions of ministry and country. Facilitation in collaboration with other government agencies, port operators and port users to ensure the safety of international vessels callings and cargo handlings contributes to raise country income.
Port administration in Myanmar has been changed from time to time. Since 1998, all ports of Myanmar are administered by single organization Myanma Port Authority (MPA) under the management of Ministry of Transport and Communications. Nowadays, most of the terminals are under the management of the local and foreign terminal operators with the PPP scheme: BOT agreement or JV to MPA. Regarding the public-private ownership ratio at present, just 5% is under the control of the Port Authority while 95% (by quay lengths of wharf) is operated by private investors in both foreign and local.
As a result of the success of the Public-Private Partnership, a total number of wharfs are 47 and totally 47 sea going vessels can be accommodated at a time in Yangon port. Yangon port has 2 harbour areas: Yangon Inner Harbour and Thilawa Outer Harbour. In terms of number of wharfs, there are 27 berths in Yangon Inner Harbour with the total quay length of 4,640 m. In Thilawa Outer Harbour, there has been 20 berths with total quay length of 3,801 m. Myanmar is also a maritime country for its long coastline of 1,260 nautical mile. Among its nine ports, the Port of Yangon is the premier port of Myanmar and currently handles about 90 % of the country’s normal exports and imports.
Yangon was a fishing village know by the name of Dagon up to the mid eighteenth-century. It was not yet established as a seaport then. At that time, ThanLyin, Pathein, Mottama and Pegu were mostly used as seaports.
In 1775, King Alaung Phaya seized to the territories along the Ayeyarwaddy river and reached Dagon. The name Dagon was changed to Yangon by the King.
Maritime transport is the key pillar of international trade and global economy. According to UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport, around 80% by volume and over 70% by value of international trade represent Maritime Trade, and these amounts are even higher for most developing economies. Reflecting this point, in Myanmar, maritime trade is the backbone of international trade and the country economy. In 2021, 71% of international trade is carried by sea whereas 29% of international trade goes through borders. Myanmar is a maritime country for its long coastline of 1,260 nautical miles. Among its nine ports, Yangon Port is a premier port that primarily handles international trade. Although Yangon Port is a river port, it has 27 berths with 4,640 metres of total quay length in its inner harbour, and 19 berths with 3,591 metres of total quay length in its outer harbour (Thilawa). With its adequate infrastructure and facilities and acceptable performance, the annual container handling capacity of Yangon Port is over 3 million TEUs whereas the annual general cargo handling capacity is over 12 million metric tons and 6 million metric tons of oil and gas storage capacity. Myanma Port Authority (MPA), as an incumbent authority of the port industry, has been constantly undertaking port development, with the vision of making its ports strategic land-sea gateways for the region, and international trade and logistics networks. In doing so, MPA as a regulator is regulating private port operators and port users; as a facilitator, it facilitates and promotes the seamless flow of maritime trade in cooperation with relevant government agencies; and as an operator, it provides safe and secure navigation services for all vessels and productive cargo handling services in cooperation with the private sector. Reflecting the outcomes of year-round maintenance dredging and upgrading navigation aids, channel safety has been improved. Today’s acceptable vessel size in terms of draft and LOA of the Yangon Port has increased since then MPA discovered a new approach channel, the Kings Bank Channel. Accepting larger- sized vessels results in economies of scale for all parties participating in maritime trade. Additionally, to develop a sustainable and resilient port community system, MPA is moving forward across the right track of digital transformation in documentation procedures as a part of the National Single Window and ASEAN Maritime Single Window together with participating port actors.
To generate country’s trade and economic growth by providing efficient port operation and excellent services and developing a sustainable and resilient port community.
To be efficient ports that ensure Myanmar seamless connection with regional and global trade and logistics chain by 2030.