Dec 20, 2011

Myanmar invites investment in special economic zone project

Myanmar is inviting local and foreign investment in the Thilawa special economic zone project next to the Dawei Special Economic Zone project, aimed at developing the country's economy.

Thilawa special economic zone lies between Thanlyin and Kyauktan townships in Yangon region.

"Steps will be taken for Myanmar nationals to be able to establish a public company in the southern area of Kyauktan township in partnership with a foreign company on joint-venture basis," said the authorities.

"Necessary measures will also be taken for those investors from Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries or those from Myanmar may invest directly by themselves or on a joint venture basis in the area chosen for establishing Thilawa Industrial Zone," it said.

In the implementation of the project, the authorities assured that only the squatter are to be replaced and the existing villages will not be displaced and particular vacant land will only be used, adding that with the development of special economic zone , those villages can be turned into residential areas with modern buildings.

The authorities went on to say that investors concerned will coordinate with consultants to ensure that the livelihood of the local people are not affected, disclosing that "The third party chosen by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry will be assigned to see to the impact on the natural environment".

Earlier, the Dawei Special Economic Zone project in southern Tanintharyi region has been planned with the building of a deep- sea port where 100,000-ton vessels can be moored to although only about 20,000-ton vessels could enter the Yangon river course in the past.

The Dawei deep-sea port project is being carried out by Myanmar and Thailand under the two countries' framework agreement signed between the Myanmar Port Authority and the Italian-Thai Development Public Company in November 2010. The agreement also covers the projects of industrial zone, road and rail link to Thailand.

The Dawei deep seaport, industrial zone and road and rail link to Thailand construction project represents the first ever special economic zone in Myanmar.

The project, which costs 13 billion U.S dollars, includes construction of Dawei Deep Seaport, buildings for shipyard and maintenance work, establishment of zone, petrochemical industries, oil refinery, steel plant, power stations and Dawei-Bangkok motor road and railroad and laying of oil pipeline along the motorway and railroad, according to the framework agreement.

The project is targeted to complete in 10 years in three phases under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) system.

Similarly, Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone project will soon be implemented, according to the auhorities.

Myanamr's previous government promulgated the Special Economic Zone Law in January this year, three months before the new governemnt came into being.

The law comprises 12 chapters covering formation of central body, special privileges of investor, land use, bank and finance management and insurance business as well as quarantine inspection and confinement and matters related to labor.

The enactment of the special economic zone law came 23 years after Myanmar promulgated its first foreign investment law in November 1988, the amendment of which is underway in the parliament.

Meanwhile, Myanmar also designated 24 development zones in the country, carrying out major projects.

In the industrial sector, it has set up 18 industrial zones across the country to encourage private sector to run industrial enterprises for the development of the sector. So far, a total of 9,574 private industrial enterprises are in operation there.

The 18 local industrial zones are Hlaingthaya, Shwepyitha, Shwelinpan, Shwepaukkan, North Okkalapa, South Okkalapa, Dagon Seikkan, East Dagon, South Dagon, North Dagon, Thakata, Mingaladong, Yangon, Wartayar, Pyin Mapyin, Thatukan, Thit Ahchaykan and Myaungdakar.

In the latest development, five more industrial zones are planned in five states in the country in addition to the existing ones.

Inviting foreign investment, the five new industrial zones are to be built in Kayin state's Hpa-an, Mon state's Phaya Thongzu, Shan state's Namphaka and Muse, and Rakhine state's Ponnagyun.

Myanmar's industrial sector contributes about 20 percent to the gross domestic product and private sector's contribution to the industrial sector stood 92.36 percent, statistics show.

In time of the the new government which assumed office on March 30, 2011, foreign investment rose 19.3 million U.S. dollars, bringing the total to 36.073 billion dollars from 31 countries and regions in 454 projects as of August 2011 since November 1988 when Myanmar's Foreign Investment Law was enacted.

Source: Xinhua