Myanmar plans more special economic zones for development

GMT 08:19 2014 Wednesday ,09 July

Arab Today, arab today Myanmar plans more special economic zones for development

Economic zones
Yangon - XINHUA

Myanmar has planned one more special economic zone (SEZ), which is Kyaukpyu SEZ in western Rakhine state's Kyaukpyu, while implementing two prior ones.

The SEZ administration assigned a Singapore-based consortium to develop a master project plan for the Kyaukpyu SEZ, the third of its kind in Myanmar, state media reported Tuesday.

CPG Consultancy Ltd, which leads the consortium, will serve as the key advisor for choosing and inviting international developers to the Kyaukpyu SEZ under an agreement signed with the Committee of Bid Invitation and Selection for the Kyaukpyu.

The Myanmar government and the consortium will select construction companies in December, using an international bid process and the chosen companies are to draw detailed plans in the first two months of 2015.

The 227-million-US-dollar project, which is part of plans to create a "mini-Singapore" on an island off in Myanmar, will include a deep-sea port and an industrial park and residential development with education, healthcare and recreation facilities.

The Kyaukpyu SEZ will be implemented in three phases with the first from 2014 to 2016, while the second from 2017 to 2020 and the third from 2021 to 2025.

Upon completion of the project, it will cover some 75 square- kilometers, according to CPG.

The first biggest SEZ project is Thilawa being implemented by a Myanmar-Japan joint venture in Thanlyin-Kyauktan, 20 kilometers southeast of Yangon.

Foreign firms have started to join in the development of the Thilawa SEZ project with a U.S. firm, Ball Corporation, to be setting up a one-line beverage can manufacturing plant at the Class A Area of Thilawa SEZ under a contract signed with the Myanmar-Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD) Co Ltd..

MJTD was formed by two Myanmar companies and two Japanese companies sharing under an ownership ratio of 51 to 49.

Ball Corporation, the very first U.S. company for Wanthill SEZ, will build the facility to produce beverage cans for filling the needs of Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages under the long-term agreement and other local, regional and multi-national customers.

The one-line plant is expected to begin production in mid-2015 with the full investment set for 40 million U.S. dollars.

More deals will follow with other companies being expected mainly from Japan and China's Hong Kong SAR.

Meanwhile, more than 45 companies from 11 countries are making a beeline to the Thilawa SEZ's Class A Area for setting up manufacturing plants and industries. Discussions are underway.

Myanmar has started the land lease procedure for Phase 1 of the Thilawa Class A Area with the Thilawa SEZ project.

As for the second SEZ project, which is Dawei SEZ in southern Tanintharyi region, Myanmar has revised its plan of developing the SEZ by inviting international companies to bid for the project following the pull-out of the sole developer, Italian-Thai Public Company, which had failed to keep on with the project work.

Agreement with the Italian-Thai Public Company on the project has been terminated to make way for carrying out due diligence assessment of the company by international consulting firms and invitation to prospective international investors and developers for rendering the project competitively and transparently.

In the new process, the Italian-Thai company is permitted to re- tender the project along with others.

Myanmar and Thailand agreed in November 2010 to implement the project on a 50-50 basis. Afterwards, the two countries set up a joint committee on comprehensive development of the zone in November 2012.

The joint committee later agreed on a framework of the first five-year development plan between 2014 and 2018.

After inviting Japan to join in development of the project as a strategic partner, a follow-up tripartite meeting of Myanmar, Thailand and Japan has been focusing on setting up of special purpose vehicles (SPV) production base.

Dawei region serves as southern economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

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