Dawei, Kyaukphyu SEZ projects to resume

Arrangements are being made for development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Kyaukphyu SEZ projects to resume, said U Khin Maung Cho, Minister for the Ministry of Industry, on behalf of the Ministry of Commerce at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.

The government has been exploring ways to restart development of the US$8 billion Dawei SEZ, which has been suspended since 2013. This came after developer Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD) withdrew from a 2008 agreement to develop Dawei SEZ due to financial constraints.

There were also complaints from the local community regarding lack of adequate compensation for the construction and potential pollution and disruption caused as result of developing the SEZ. ITD withdrew from the concession agreement in 2015.

In 2015, Thailand offered Myanmar a soft loan of 4.5 billion baht at an interest rate of 0.1pc to upgrade a two-lane tarred road from Dawei SEZ to Htee Khee, near the Thai border. Construction work is currently under way, U Khin Maung Cho said.

“In regard to implementing the Dawei SEZ more quickly, negotiations are ongoing between the Myanmar SEZ Central Committee and Dawei SEZ Management Committee, U Khin Maung Cho said.

Negotiations are also being made to get Japan involved in the implementation of the main project of Dawei SEZ,” he added.

Meanwhile, discussions are being carried out to establish a framework agreement for Kyaukphyu SEZ with CITIC Company, the Chinese company that won the tender to develop the SEZ in Rakhine State. An agreement has already been reached in regard to the ownership ratio of the SEZ.

Depending on the usage of the deep sea port, an agreement is being made to build the port in four stages to minimise the amount of capital invested, said U Khin Maung Cho.

“Initially, over $7.2 billion was earmarked for the deep sea port, but if the first stage is to be constructed then it can start with just over $1.3 billion,” he said, adding that “once a framework agreement for Kyaukpyu SEZ has been signed, work can begin.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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