Right Next To China — India To Invest In Deep Water Port In Philippines After Iran, Sri Lanka, Myanmar & Oman


India is taking a leaf out of China’s playbook and is investing in ports in foreign countries. After securing stakes in ports in Iran, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Oman, the Indian firm is looking to invest in a port in the Philippines. The island country is embroiled in a territorial contest with China in the South China Sea.

For a long time, China has pursued a “string of pearls” strategy to create infrastructure projects and staging posts ready from the Middle East and Asia to gain strategic clout and naval access. Beijing later rebranded its geopolitical ambitions known as the “string of pearls” in the West as the Maritime Silk Road initiative.

In 2024, India made tremendous headway by investing in ports abroad.After burning its hands at the hands of Chinese investment, luring it into a debt trap, the Sri Lankan government has decided to renovate its Kankesanturai Port in the Northern Province with 100% Indian funding.

In a strategic coup, India, in partnership with a Russian firm, secured management rights for the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The airport, developed through Chinese loans, contributed to a financial crisis in the island country, and in return, Sri Lanka got only the “world’s emptiest airport” with minimal flight activity.

Management control over MRIA gives India significant leverage over the Hambantota port and makes it implausible for the Chinese Navy to develop a substantial facility at sight without controlling the airport.

Indian firm Adani Group has also signed an agreement with Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings and the state-owned SLPA (Sri Lanka Ports Authority) to develop the Colombo West International Container Terminal (CWICT) jointly. The investment is more than US $700 million, making it the largest foreign investment in Sri Lanka’s port sector.

Now, Adani Group, through its subsidiary Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), is planning to invest in a port in the Philippines. APSEZ, India’s biggest private port operator, is eyeing the Bataan province in the Philippines for its port development plan. The company aims to develop a deep port that can accommodate Panamax vessels.

On May 2, APSEZ Managing Director Karan Adani met Philippines President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at Malacanang to discuss these plans. Adani Group, meanwhile, is also planning investments in ports, airports, power, and defense sectors.

Source: Eurasian Times


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here