Ten Thai firms eye investing in Myanmar’s Mon state

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Ten Thai companies are looking to invest in Mon state, Myanmar, to take advantage of the growing business opportunities there.

They are Imac Asset Co, Andaman Seafood Co, Nava Nakorn, Mida Assets, Max Size Co, Shrimp Farming Cooperatives of Thailand, Ten Consultants Co, Ritta Co, Wang Lert Luk Co, and Cape Dara Resort Pattaya.

Imac Assets already has invested in Mon after winning a 60-year concession from the state to develop property and industrial estates in Mawlamyaing, the state capital.

It is applying for investment privileges from the Myanmar Investment Commission to develop industrial zones there. If approved, it will be entitled to waive corporate income tax for five to eight years and waive duty on the import of machinery to develop industrial zones in two locations, one occupying more than 2,000 rai (320 hectares) and the other 15,000 rai.

The company estimates that it will need to invest at least Bt4 billion on developing the smaller zone. It is it is still calculating an estimate for the larger one.

Imac president Boonsom Chindapraneekul said that as the part of this concession, the company had upgraded an existing golf course in Mawlamyaing. It is in the process of designing a hotel to operate in conjunction with the golf club, the construction of which is expected to cost more than Bt200 million. The 72-room hotel is expected to open early next year, and the complex will be named Imac Hotel and Golf Club. The combined cost of the golf-course upgrade and the hotel construction is Bt300 million to Bt400 million.

On the 2,000-rai industrial estate, it plans to develop factories for rent. Both industrial zones are expected to be operational by 2015.

Seksit Charoensethasil, vice president of Nava Nakorn, said Myanmar and Vietnam were strategic logistical locations linking Asean’s East and West economic corridors. But many factors need to be considered before making investment decisions. These include legal, energy, labour, and micro- and macroeconomic aspects before investment plans can be proposed to the board of directors.

Watcharat Lelawat, deputy director of the International Institute for Trade and Development said at a seminar titled “Myanmar: Challenging Country in Asean” that in 2010 and 2011 Myanmar recorded US$20 billion (Bt637 billion) in foreign direct investment, $9 billion of which was from Thailand. Only China invested more.


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