CB Bank chair to open industrial zone

The chair of one of Myanmar’s largest banks is turning his hand to a new sector, with a plan to open Taungoo township’s first industrial zone, which he hopes will entice hundreds of thousands of migrant workers back to the area.

Chair of Co-operative Bank U Khin Maung Aye also chairs the Kaung Myanmar Aung (KMA) Group of Companies which has interests from hotels and real estate to mining, forestry, agriculture and automobiles.

Another of his businesses, Kaytumadi Development Company (Public), recently bought over 1000 acres of land in Bago Region where it plans to open an industrial zone this December or in early 2016, he told The Myanmar Times. The land is near to the 150 mile point along the highway from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw, in Taungoo, he said.

“We have permission to build an industrial zone, and now need to present our plans to the Myanmar Investment Commission and other government departments.”

He has already invited investors from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan to consider opening businesses in the new zone, he said.

The project will cost between K20 billion and K50 billion to build, he said, and the company plans to issue shares to the public worth K10,000 each, to raise the necessary funds. A number of investors from Taungoo will also put up capital.

The zone will be built on uncultivable land, he said. “The soil is very bad. Many residents have left the region to work elsewhere, because of a lack of job opportunities.”

He hopes the industrial zone will help develop the area. “Over 100,000 residents of Taungoo have moved to China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and other parts of the world,” he said. “If we develop this zone, we will create plenty of job opportunities and the township will prosper.”

He hopes to create more than 100,000 jobs. “A single garment factory could create more than 10,000 jobs,” he said adding, “This industrial zone will welcome green factories that do not have a negative effect on the environment.”

Local residents protested against the project initially, but the industrial zone committee has negotiated compensation with all the farmers, said U Khin Maung Aye.

“While the land is not good for planting and it should not cost more than K10,000 per acre, residents knew we were planning to build an industrial zone and didn’t want to sell,” he said. “While the first farms were very cheap, in the end we paid more than K3 million for some of the land. On average, we paid around K2 million per acre.”

Bago Region is fast becoming an industrial hub, with the launch of i-Land Industrial Park, a 400-acre development and the Bago industrial zone, which is already home to a number of local and international companies.

With a new international airport to be built at Hanthawaddy in Bago Region, the Korea International Cooperation Agency told The Myanmar Times in August it has signed with the Ministry of Construction for a feasibility study to develop the corridor between Yangon and Hanthawaddy, including industrial and residential zones and supporting infrastructure.

Source: Myanmar Times

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