Of the three special economic zones, Thilawa, Dawei, and Kyaukpyu, the Thilawa SEZ has shown huge economic growth and the most improvement, said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister for Commerce.
“Both Myanmar and Japan governments jointly established the Thilawa SEZ. It has shown more improvement in infrastructure and so, investments are flowing into the zone,” he added.
“Thilawa has shown high economic potential. It has been jointly developed by the two governments. Myanmar and Japan governments are building infrastructure — roads, electricity, and port terminals. Investors are eyeing the zone to make investments as there is good infrastructure,” said U Aung Htoo.
According to a discussion conducted on 30 October, container trucks from Myanmar can reach the Laem Chabang Port in Bangkok, Thailand and so can trucks from Thailand to Yangon’s Thilawa port. Therefore, the Thilawa SEZ has great economic potential in the future, he added.
While Thilawa has shown growth, the Dawei SEZ, which was set up over a decade ago, is lagging, he said.
“Dawei SEZ needs infrastructure development. At present, it requires land, road, and other infrastructure. Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment also need to be conducted in the zone. Concerning road infrastructure, Myanmar and Thailand have agreed to construct a road in the East West Economic Corridor. Upon the completion of the 130-km road, the Dawei SEZ will also improve,” the minister said.
“The Dawei SEZ was developed by the Italian-Thai Development Company Limited during the former government’s term. It is underdeveloped due to financial constraints,” he added.
Under the incumbent government, the Chinese consortium’s share in the Kyaukpyu SEZ was reduced from 85 per cent to 70 per cent. The two governments discussed the previous agreement and signed a new one under which the Chinese holding stands at 70 per cent and Myanmar’s at 30 per cent.
“The Kyaukpyu SEZ is in a strategic location when it comes to China’s One Belt One Road initiative. Thus, motorway and railway projects will be included in the zone. The Kyaukpyu SEZ is likely to show quicker improvement than Dawei,” the minister said.
By Nyein Nyein(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)