The Indian Prime Minister has visited Bangladesh, where he announced his intention to help build a deep sea port at Payra. This is in the Patuakhali district on the Bay of Bengal.

In addition to India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and China have also indicated an interest in the project, which might be bankrolled by an international consortium.

Bangladesh needs a third port, given that all existing overseas trade is rooted either by Chittagong (90%) and Mongla (10%).

India’s interest in the project is that commodities bound for its north-eastern states often come ashore at Chittagong, where they are then transported by road.

Feasibility studies have shown that up to $2 billion will have to be invested in Payra port, which will take almost a decade to complete. The new facility will have a draught of 14m, although ongoing dredging may well be required to maintain this.