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May 26, 2020

Measures to speed up implementation of SEZs discussed

Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the first meeting of Myanmar Special Economic Zone Central Committee in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.  Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the first meeting of Myanmar Special Economic Zone Central Committee in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

Myanmar Special Economic Zone Central Committee held its first meeting for the yearat the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday discussing measures to be taken for speeding up the implementation of special economic zones in the country.
The meeting was opened with remarks made by Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who is also chairman of this committee.
In his remarks, the chairman stressed the important role of the special economic zones for the economic development of the country, urging the cooperation of all ministries concerned in making the SEZs a success.
Out of three special economic zones, Thilawa SEZ is far ahead of the two remaining zones with completion of Zone-A and its Zone-B being implemented sector by sector.
Thilawa SEZ has attracted some 114 companies so far, with total investment of US$1.92 billion. Of them, over 80 factories are in operation. The results reflects that the Thilawa SEZ is developing with momentum, said the vice president.
Regarding the Kyaukpyu SEZ, the vice president said the two companies namely CITIC Group and Framework Agreement who won the tender for the deep seaport project of the SEZ signed the Framework Agreement in November 2018. The two companies inked the Concession Agreement and Shareholder Agreement in January, 2020. Plans are underway to carry out the EIA, SIA surveys and GT Survey for geological situation.
The vice president has called on officials of the Kyaukpyu SEZ to make the best use of experiences of the Thilawa SEZ in implementing the Kyaukpyu SEZ.
He continued to say that Myanmar has already signed the Myanmar-China Economic Corridor Cooperation project, and thatif the deep seaport project included in the Myanmar-China Economic Corridor Project were implemented successfully, it would benefit both countries.
Regarding the Dawei Special Economic Zone implementation, the vice president said the two-lane road linking Dawei SEZ and Hteekhee which was under construction couldbe seen as a progress of the project.
The Ministry of Construction is building the road at the cost of 4.5 billion baht borrowed from the Thai Government. The two sides are negotiating the Terms of Reference-TOR and the ground survey works have been completed. The two sides are also negotiating the Detailed Project Report-DPR.
“As special economic zones are playing an important role in development of the country and creating job opportunities for the people, all should make concerted efforts for success of the special economic zones,” said the vice president.
“On the other hand, the ministries concerned are obliged to coordinate witheach other to provide services to foreign investors in accordance with the rules and regulations so that they can have confidence to invest in Myanmar,” said the vice president.
“Only when we give guarantees to them, will the investment flow into our country,’ said U Henry Van Thio, “Or, there would be no benefits that we should gain.”
He also called for the ministries concerned to actively participate in implementing the SEZs.
Afterwards, Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, who is the secretary of the central committee and chairman of the work committee under the central committee, gave a detailed briefing about the current situation of the special economic zones and undertakings of the central work committee.
Afterwards, Permanent Secretary of the ministry gave a briefing about the progress of the implementation of the resolutions made at the meeting 1/2019.
Deputy Ministers U Set Aung, in his capacity as the Thilawa and Kyaukpyu SEZ Management Committee Chairman, and Dr Tun Naing, in his capacity as the Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee Chairman, also discussed the implementation of the respective zones.
Next, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein discussed the plans for the Yangon Special Economic Zone.
Permanent Secretary U Aung Soe, who is the Joint Secretary of the Myanmar-Thai Joint Coordination Committee for development of the Dawei SEZ and related projects, discussed outcomes of the Myanmar-Thai Joint Task Force meeting and Myanmar-Thai-Japan meeting.
After hearing the discussion, Vice President U Henry Van Thio stressed the need to do reforms and to ensure that the rules and regulations meet international standards.
He also called for speeding up the implementation of the SEZs based on the win-win situation of the two sides.—MNA (Translated by KZL)

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