Thilawa SEZ phase two nears completion

The first phase of the 400-hectare Zone A was finished last September and the second phase is almost complete, said U Thein Han, chair of Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD).

More than 85 percent of the land in Zone A has been reserved by 69 light-industry manufacturers from across the globe, he said. Of these, nine are already exporting their products, ranging from car parts to garments and electronic gadgets.

Twenty-seven companies are preparing to begin operations and 33 more are starting to build factories, U Thein Han added. The zone became commercially operational and was formally launched last September.

Once the second phase of Zone A is finished in July, a company called Thilawa Property Development will build residential and commercial components on 35 hectares, including dormitories for workers, shop-houses, offices and a shopping centre.

Public infrastructure, utilities and other facilities to support the factories still need to be built.

The project is a joint venture between Myanmar and Japan – each government has a 10 percent stake while a consortium of nine local companies called Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH) controls 41pc and a Japanese private-sector consortium controls the remaining 39pc.

MJTD is a special purpose company set up by the investors to develop and operate the project.

Zone A has created jobs for 2221 people and will create “at least” 40,000 jobs by 2018, according to a document filed by MTSH to the Yangon Stock Exchange earlier this month.

On May 20 MTSH became the second company to list on the exchange. After just three days of trading its share price had risen by 75pc to K70,000 yesterday.

The company will require more capital over the next two years to start work on Thilawa Zone B, said project director U Thurane Aung. The board has not yet decided whether to raise new capital by issuing new shares through the stock exchange or by taking out a loan, he said.

Construction of Zone B is due to start at the end of this year. It will include another industrial park on between 500 and 700 hectares, according to the MTSH document.

“Land selection, environmental impact assessment study and design are currently being carried out for the Zone B Project,” the document said.

“The development of the Zone B Project is still in its planning stages and there is no assurance that [it] … will materialise.”

Source: The Myanmar Times

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