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Myanmar’s flagship industrial park ready for takeoff

YANGON — Myanmar’s first industrial park has grown into a thriving hub of foreign investment in its first two years, in a country seeking to catch up quickly with its more industrialized Southeast Asian peers.

During the two years since it opened in September 2015, the Thilawa industrial park in a suburb of Yangon, the country’s largest city, has attracted 85 companies, including some that have reserved a lot. Already, 36 of them have started operation, while 34 others are constructing their facilities.

The number of companies operating in the park will double next year to account for over 80% of all the tenants on the list.

Acecook, a Japanese maker of instant noodles and soup, began operating its plant in the industrial park earlier this year.

“It is a state-of-the-art instant noodle factory equipped with technologies we have developed in Japan,” Acecook President Hiroshi Muraoka proudly said.

Acecook has spent $20 million to build the plant, which can churn out up to 300 million instant noodle products per year.

The plant is equipped with a full-fledged manufacturing line that makes dough from raw materials, cuts the dough into noodles and then fries and dries them.

It also has such food safety and quality control equipment as air showers to prevent pollution in the production process and X-ray detectors to discover foreign contaminants.

Located within a special economic zone, the Thilawa industrial park is eligible for special tax and regulatory incentives for foreign businesses.

Foreign companies operating in the park, for instance, are allowed to import and sell finished products — a business category basically reserved for domestic players — if they provide certain value-added services such as maintenance.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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