Chinese presence disallowed in Indian port development

By agencies   |   Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: In a major strategic decision, Indian government has decided to ban the role of Chinese companies in investing or managing any port, The Times of India said on Wednesday. The decision closes a yearlong debate on the issue and eliminates probable Chinese participation in 13 ports planned across the country at a cost of $13.86 billion.

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) will be the first company to bear the brunt of this decision. The company has been awaiting security clearances prior to bidding for building container terminals in Mumbai and Chennai. Following the decision, the port authorities in the two cities have decided to go ahead with the bidding, already delayed by a year owing to Hutchison’s pending application. Also, L&T, which had a tie-up with Hutchison Port for bidding on both projects, has tied up with Manila-based International Containers Terminal Services to stay in the bid, the paper said.

A confidential note from the government to the chairmen of Mumbai and Chennai Port Trusts sealed HPH’s fate. The letter rejected applications from HPH for both ports citing ‘security concerns’. The move is reminiscent of the U.S. Senate’s decision of disallowing Dubai Ports (DP) to operate in many American states, including New York and Philadelphia, on security grounds, Times of India said.

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