Cocokyun, industrial zones in Yangon’s spotlight

THE development of Cocokyun township covering the islands in the northeastern Indian Ocean, as well as the flight and maritime access between the islands and the mainland, are included in Yangon Region’s plan, according to Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein. Yangon Region will implement a three-year project which will focus mainly on the improvement of industrial zones via tackling utilities and services, ranging from supply of power and water to waste management. The priorities will focus on establishing new industrial zones and strengthening existing ones.

In order for businesses to develop in Yangon Region, a three-year project will be drawn up, he announced. At the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI)’s main office in Yangon, a regular meeting takes place on the monthly basis to facilitate the development of the country’s private sector. The meeting is attended by a vice president, related ministers, and businessmen.

The 10th meeting among the business leaders under the new government was held on September 23. The Yangon Chief Minister seized the occasion to convey his message to the business community.

The development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) has been prioritised for the development of Yangon Region’s economy. In order to carry out this objective, the plan will include the expansion of industrial zones, the enhancement of established ones, and the change in focus related to the agricultural sector policies.

The chief minister identified several obstacles and challenges, mainly in the infrastructure ecosystem as well as in transport and communications. Problems such as squatters may arise. The reliable supply of power and water to the industrial zones remains a challenge, so do the issues of waste water management and trash disposal. A project encompassing all these aspects is currently being drafted in the three years plan.

“A project is being drawn up so that these matters can be addressed within three years. We will be planning how Yangon’s economy as a whole will attain these goals in three years. “We will also be conducting close discussions about the relevant sectors with each individual organisation.

“On top of that, we will be carrying out projects, so that businesses will cooperate together to adopt changes directed by the government and to capitalise on the support given to businesses by the government,” U Phyo Min Thein explained.

Cocokyun

Concerning the industrial zones, he outlined programs to expand small industrial zones in 33 townships under the administration of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC). There are also plans to set up small industrial zones in the 12 townships, including Cocokyun township, which are outside YCDC’s purview. There are plans to establish sea and air routes to Cocokyun to allow better access with the mainland.

Cocokyun township is located on the islands of Coco and Preparis, which are scattered in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. The township, which consists of two wards, is relatively undeveloped due to its distance from the mainland.

Issuance of smart cards for SME loans will be implemented. Data will be collected in 45 townships in Yangon Region. After collecting the data, Yangon City Bank will directly handle the extension of loans.

“SME data will be collected using a computerised system. “A pilot project will be carried out in South Dagon township. Regarding SMEs and data will be collected for all small businesses, including at a micro-level,” the chief minister commented.

Yangon City Bank’s upgrade is included in the scheme after amending the Yangon City Development Law. Likewise, it plans to use an insurance system which can guarantee loans, he said.

It will try to change the crops cultivated in the farms in Yangon Region, he said. There are about 12 lakh acres of land in Yangon. It is planning to amend the Farm Law which stipulates that only paddy can be cultivated in paddy farm land.

“There are about 12 lakh acres of land in Yangon. We are negotiating with the Ministry of Agriculture to change the crops allowed to grow. “Changing crops in 12 lakh acres land will not affect the rice production a lot, I think. We are planning to extend loans to farmers doing SME businesses,” he explained.

The relocation of squatters will commence in October, he said. “There are over 150,000 squatter households in Yangon. A project was drafted to relocate them.

“Squatters have jobs but they can’t afford to buy a flat. Therefore, we are planning to establish housing by setting their jobs as insurance,” U Phyo Min Thein said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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