Thilawa SEZ’s progress will determine Japanese investments — Japanese minister

YANGON—Japan is quite hesitant about investing in Myanmar and its future investments will depend on the progress of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, said Yoshihiko Isozaki, Japan’s Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, on Saturday.

“Several Japanese leaders visited Myanmar this year. Japanese investors are really interested in boosting bilateral trade. In fact,

Myanmar’s [new] Foreign Investment Law drew the attention of many businesspeople. But the investors are a little hesitant. There are concerns over business and investment procedures in Myanmar,” Yoshihiko Isozaki said at the commencement ceremony for the Thilawa SEZ in Thanhlyn Township, Yangon.

He added that the Japanese government would help with infrastructural development of the project.

“This Class (A) of Thilawa SEZ covers 400 hectares of land… and it is 20 kilometres away from downtown Yangon. It is a good place for manufacturing businesses. It will create several business opportunities. The two governments will cooperate for electricity, water supply and transportation,” said a company official from Mitsubishi Corp, one of the Japanese investors in the Thilawa SEZ.

Myanmar and Japan began specific discussions on the project last year. After one year, the project is set to get off the ground as government officials from the two countries held a ceremony to launch the first phase of Thilawa SEZ on Saturday.

According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, Myanmar is one of the most difficult countries for doing business. It is ranked 182nd out of 189 nations.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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