Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp wins Myanmar airport project

Incheon International Airport Corp leads a group picked as the preferred bidder on Myanmar’s new US$1.1 billion (34 billion baht) air hub, the latest in a series of global deals as the Southeast Asian nation opens itself after decades of isolation.

Incheon is in talks with Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation on details, aiming to sign a contract this year, open the facility in 2018 and operate it for 50 years, South Korea’s Transport Ministry said on Sunday in a statement. Hanthawaddy International Airport will be capable of handling about 12 million passengers per year, the ministry said.

Myanmar President Thein Sein has expanded political freedom and loosened economic controls since coming to power two years ago, prompting nations including the United States to ease sanctions. That’s opened the door to a flood of foreign investment as companies worldwide seek to profit from Myanmar’s resources and cheap labour.

The contract for Hanthawaddy international Airport has been awarded to a group of Korean companies, Ye Htut, a spokesman for Thein Sein, said on Sunday in Myanmar. Concerned ministries will provide detailed announcements, he said.

Incheon Airport’s consortium, which includes South Korean industrial powers Halla Engineering and Construction Corp, Kumho Industrial Co, Lotte Engineering and Construction Co and POSCO ICT Co, competed for the airport deal against three rival groups led by Singapore’s Yongnam Holdings Ltd, Japan’s Taisei Corp. and France’s Vinci SA, according to the South Korean ministry.

South Korea plans to set up an industrial complex in Myanmar to help companies enter the market, and will provide support for building schools and agricultural goods processing factories, the Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement June 19.

Separately, a group including Mitsubishi Corp and Japan Airlines Co won priority negotiation rights to manage the international airport in the city of Mandalay, Kyodo news reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Nikkei newspaper reported last week that Japan’s Oji Holdings Corp plans to build a cardboard plant in Myanmar next year, while steelmaker JFE Holdings Inc will set up a venture with the nation’s government to build bridges and other infrastructure.

Source: Bangkok Post

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