European car makers express interest in Myanmar

The Czech Republic has announced interest to assemble Skoda cars in Myanmar, U Thaung Tun, Union minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, said last week.

“The Czechs sold the Skoda in Myanmar in the past and now they’ve made an offer to start production here,” U Thaung Tun said at an investment promotion event held on June 26 in Nay Pyi Taw. He added that Hungary has also voiced interest in starting similar operations in the country.

Hungary and Czech Republic made the offers during State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Europe visit last month, he said. However, more information on assembling Skoda vehicles in Myanmar was not provided.

Hungary has offered to manufacture electric cars in Myanmar and the Ministry of Industry will cooperate, said U Aung Naing Oo, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. “Hungary is making plans to cooperate with the Ministry of Industry. It will be an assembly plant,” he said.

U Ko Ko Lwin, permanent secretary of Ministry of Industry, said they will import three cars on a trial run basis. “We’ll import three cars and carry out a test drive with them in Myanmar to gauge their performance. After that, we’ll discuss how to cooperate,” he said.

“We have actually received many enquiries from foreign countries to invest in Myanmar and interest in producing automobiles is among the popular questions asked, not just by the Japanese and other Asians but also by the Europeans,” U Thaung Tun said.

On May 30, Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it will establish Toyota Myanmar Co Ltd in Thilawa Special Economic Zone as its first vehicle production company in Myanmar, where it will locally produce the Hilux from February 2021.

Investment is expected to amount to US$52.6 million. It intends to assemble around 2500 Hilux vehicles using the semi knock-down method and will hire around 130 employees.

Source: Myanmar Times

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