Chinese investment in Myanmar’s SEZ pure business

The interests of Myanmar and its people will be the top consideration of the developers of two projects in Myanmar’s special economic zone (SEZ) in the town of Kyaukphyu, a company official told Xinhua recently.

The China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) Construction company, together with four other Chinese companies and one Thai firm, formed a consortium and won the tender for building an industrial park and a deep sea port in the SEZ on Dec. 30, 2015.

“The investment of CITIC and our partners in Kyaukphyu was driven purely by business value,” Yuan Shaobin, vice chairman of CITIC Construction, told Xinhua.

Located in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, Kyaukphyu is known for its tropical sceneries and backward infrastructure.

“We need to find a way to preserve the environment while fundamentally improving the infrastructure, and share the dividends released by the projects with Myanmar and the local people,” said Yuan, adding that the implementation of the projects will be based on three concepts, namely, social development, green development and common prosperity.

For social development, the consortium will analyze the projects’ social impact, provide training opportunities to local people as well as anti-disaster and emergency rescue service, and set up 50 clinics and 50 schools in Rakhine State.

It also plans to launch a development fund to support the various needs of the local government and residents, such as transportation, water supply, power supply, children’s education, healthcare and dispensary services, agriculture, poultry farming, aquaculture, fisheries and so on.

“By all these means, we want Myanmar and the whole world to know that CITIC is a reliable and responsible partner,” Yuan added.

He also said the consortium led by CITIC will take care of ecological needs and improve the natural environment.

Documents from the company indicate that the projects will be guided by green design concepts and clean energy technology.

Before launching the projects, he said, CITIC will hire globally well-known companies to conduct environmental impact assessment.

“We want the local people to live in a more orderly, beautiful, convenient and comfortable Kyaukphyu,” said the vice president.

Yuan also said the consortium will involve locals in the construction and management of the projects.

“We will increase local supply and local subcontracting, launch Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development programs, promote Made in Myanmar products … and create no less than 2,000 job opportunities for local people each year,” said Yuan.

The six-member consortium will form joint ventures with local enterprises to build and operate the projects under the framework of the Myanmar Special Economic Zone law.

Hailing Myanmar as the last untapped virgin land in Asia, Yuan said he is optimistic about the projects and Myanmar’s future.

“I hope the incumbent and incoming Myanmar governments can adhere to the path of democracy, reform and opening-up, and inject more impetus into its economic development,” said Yuan.

Source: Xinhua

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