Thilawa SEZ set to benefit from east west economic corridor

The Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon is set to become a vital link in the East West Economic Corridor linking Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam says an official from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The East West Economic Corridor development project aims to link transportation and logistics networks to promote investment and trade between the five countries via countrywide transportation networks.

“Bridges and roads are being constructed for the east-to-west projects, and the trade flows are expected to become smoother once this is done. Besides this, industrial zones will appear along the road,” said JICA Chief Representative to Myanmar Masayuki Karasawa.

JICA expects the Myawady-Malamyine road network, being built with funding from JICA and Asian Development Bank, to be completed by 2023, while a feasibility study for new Sittaung Bridge project is being conducted, and it is expected to finish in 2026-2027.

Thilawa SEZ cover some 2500 hectares and is divided into Zone A and Zone B. Over 100 companies have invested in it so far, with more than half of them being from Japan. Companies in the SEZ include those involved in construction, packaging, garments, food, agricultural products, transportation, automobile and accessory production, pharmaceuticals, and electrical products.

Most of the companies investing in Thilawa are catering to the local market and it is expected that more companies will set up shop in the SEZ catering to foreign markets,” said Tomoyasu Shimizu, CEO of Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development Ltd, the developer of the Thilawa SEZ.

“We expect to have nearly 20 new companies next year,” Shimizu said.

Currently, Japanese automotive companies Suzuki and Toyota have set up operations in Thilawa SEZ and parts production companies are expected to follow in their footsteps,, JICA’s Karasawa.

“I fully believe that Thilawa SEZ will become an attractive location for auto-business investments,” said Tomoyasu Shimizu.

Currently, more than 70 companies among 100 companies in the zone have started operations while local and foreign investments have created more than 37,000 job opportunities, JICA says announcement.

Source: Myanmar Times

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