Jan 21, 2013

Myanmar counts on big loans from China, India and Japan

The government is planning to borrow slightly more than US$900 million (S$1.1 billion) during the next fiscal year to fund infrastructure construction projects, including two dams and a new highway connecting the capital to Mandalay, according to a draft plan for national investment.

Most of the US$900.39 in planned loans will be borrowed from China, Japan and India, with China pegged to lend the lion's share, according to the document obtained by Eleven Media Group. China is expected to lend more than US$527 million to the Union government for infrastructure construction in the fiscal year beginning April 1.

These loans will be for a US$224 telecoms network, a new highway from Yangon to Mandalay (US$150 million), and two dams: US$70 to expand the recently constructed Hsedawgyi dam and US$12 million to upgrade the Beeluchaung hydropower project, the document said. The Hsedawgyi project is north of Mandalay. The dam was built by Htoo Trading Co Lt, which is on the US sanctions list and owned by Tay Za, a business crony of senior generals.

India is expected to lend more than US$211 million. The Union government plans to spend almost half of this, US$100 million, on installing or upgrading irrigation and drainage systems. Another US$48 million of the loans from Mumbai will be used to upgrade railway routes and purchase new trains, while US$6.2 million has been earmarked to install a telecoms network in the southern and northern sections of Chin State.

The document also shows that that the Union government is expecting about US$161 million from Tokyo to renovate power plants and power lines (US$57.69 million), expand the state-owned Kyangin cement plant (US$47 million) and implement regional development projects.

Source: Asia One