New SEZ at Dala Township on the Cards

A new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be established at Dala township in the Yangon Region after completion of the Yangon-Dala Bridge, said Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein at the Challenges for Business Enterprises in 2018 public talk at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry headquarters on Sunday.

Construction of the Yangon-Dala Bridge is expected to commence by year-end and be complete in the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Construction.

The SEZ is being established to draw more foreign direct investments (FDI) and create more business and job opportunities for local entrepreneurs and the young people of Yangon, U Phyo Min Thein, said. “We have been building new industrial zones and SEZs to draw FDI,” he said.

The Chief Minister presented plans to develop the Yangon SEZ earlier this month, when he met representatives of parliament and the departments of the ministries.

If and when work commences, the Yangon SEZ could be the fourth SEZ in Myanmar. Currently, only Thilawa SEZ is completed and fully operational.

Meanwhile, the proposed Kyaukphyu SEZ in Rakhine has stalled due to a deadlock in stakeholder negotiations between China’s CITIC-led consortium and the Myanmar government.

This month, the government said it would restart development of the suspended Dawei SEZ. In 2015, Thailand had offered Myanmar a soft loan of 4.5 billion baht at an interest rate of 0.1pc to upgrade a road linking the SEZ to the town of Htee Khee. Myanmar will decide whether to accept the loan in Parliament. A tender will be held for the upgrade after the session.

During his meeting, U Phyo Min Thein also discussed plans to construct 11 new industrial zones to draw FDI. These include townships from the southern districts of Yangon, such as Khayan, Thongwa, Thanlyin, Kyauktan, Kungyangon, Dala, Kawhmu and Twantay as well as the northern districts such as Hmawbi, Hlegu, Htantabin, Taik Gyi.

In total, there are 29 industrial zones in Yangon Region currently. However, there are plans to upgrade many existing industrial zones and provide them with the necessary infrastructure such as electricity, water and roads, which are still the main challenges for such zones in Yangon, said U Ko Lay, chair of South Dagon industrial zone.

U Aye Thaung, chair of Shwe Pyi Thar industrial zone, said businesses welcomed the new SEZs and industrial zones, however, they must be able to attract FDI, he added.


Source: Myanmar Times


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