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Burma Myanmar is proposing a significant reduction in the overall area of the Dawei deep seaport project

December 19, 2012

Nongpnapas Maipainich
The Nation
Publication Date : 19-12-2012

Myanmar is proposing a significant reduction in the overall area of the Dawei project to 150 square kilometres, from 204.5 sq km.

Thailand has responded to the proposal by saying it is already in the process of a feasibility study on the Dawei Deep Sea Port and Dawei Industrial Estate Project based on the original proposed size of the project, Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said.

Myanmar made the new proposal after a discussion between President Thein Sein and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Chatchart said.

“This is the first meeting in which Myanmar’s president clearly said he would invite a third country, likely Japan, to join in the investment. It is a benefit, as Japan has long-term funding sources for investment in infrastructure, including the port and roads,” Chatchart said.

Of the total investment estimate of 270 billion baht (US$8 billion) in the project, Thailand’s portion is 75 billion baht, he said. That includes 45 billion baht for construction of a motorway between Bang Yai and Kanchanaburi and another 10 billion baht for a motorway between Kanchanaburi and Banphu Namron.

The cost of a railway from Myanmar to Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate will be 20 billion baht.

Chatchart said the priority was to find business partners with strong financial status and existing customer bases for joint investment.

In the preliminary stage, the investment will be in two patterns. The first pattern is to set up a specific purpose vehicle, which is similar to a holding company with subsidiaries for business operations, including telecommunications, infrastructure and industrial estates. The second pattern is to set up companies to be separately responsible for business operations.

*US$1=30.5 baht

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Myanmar will begin the construction of a new economic zone located next to the Dawei project in 2013.

Director general Aung Naing Oo of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) on Monday said the Thilawa Special Economic Zone will be built on 2,400 hectares of land in Yangon region and will undergo three phases.

“For the first phase, about 450 hectares of land will be developed by Myanmar and Japanese companies. The development will be completed by 2015,” Aung Naing Oo said during the Myanmar-Thai Trade and Investment Forum.

Investors from Myanmar and Japan will team up for the first phase. Other foreign investors including South Korea and Thailand are in talks with DICA for a possible investment on the new project.

About 33,000 to 45,000 job opportunities will be needed for the first phase of the project. “At least 230,000 workers could be employed during the entire project,” DICA said.

Myanmar is planning to develop three special economic zones located in Thilawa, Kyaukphyu and Dawei. The first special economic zone in Myanmar, the Dawei deep seaport project includes an industrial zone and a rail link to Thailand.

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