Japanese company opens US$5m factory

Oshimanoki, a 100-year-old Japanese producer of rice processing machinery, has officially opened its first factory to produce such machinery in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The factory is said to be the first of its kind in the country.

During the opening ceremony of the US$5 million factory on Thursday, executives said they are pleased to be contributing to the modernisation of Myanmar’s agricultural industry.

Another reason cited by the executives from Japan who were present for the opening is Myanmar’s position as a leading producer of rice.

Oshimanoki Myanmar’s managing director Takashi Muto said: “Myanmar is one of the top exporters of rice in the world. Its farmers and land are very productive, which promises a good future for the growing of rice and the need for our machinery. Another reason that swung the decision to set up the factory here is the kindness of the local people, who have been assisting us greatly. Myanmar’s productive farmers and fertile land present a wonderful opportunity for us.”

Currently, Myanmar imports rice processing machinery from China, India and South Korea as there had been no factory in the country producing such equipment before the opening of Oshimanoki’s factory here.

The new factory adds to the growing number of businesses in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone set up to cater to Myanmar’s agricultural sector. The SEZ is already home to factories producing plowing machines, combine harvesters, and other farming machinery, and several fertiliser distributors.

Oshimanoki was founded in Japan in 1917, and Myanmar is the first country in Southeast Asia it has invested in, said Oshimanoki Myanmar Co Ltd Sales Manager Ko Min Zarni.

The company invested US$5 million to set up the factory here and it is expected to break even in three to five years, Mr Muto said, adding that the factory is expected to produce its first rice processing machines in April and the expected market will be lower Myanmar, especially the rice-growing Ayeyarwaddy Region.

“The current target is to produce machines with 15-tonne capacity but we will manufacture 20 and 30 tonne machines in the coming years,” said Ko Min Zarni, adding that the machines will not be sold directly to the customers but via farming equipment stores selected by the company, said Ko Min Zarni.

The factory’s opening has also created 20 jobs for local workers.

Source: Myanmar Times

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