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Prospects look bright for South Korean-backed industrial complex near Yangon

The Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex (KMIC) is set to be among the best industrial complexes in Myanmar and will help unlock the potential of Myanmar, China, India, and ASEAN as markets, Kim Gunwoo, general manager of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (Myanmar), said in an interview with The Myanmar Times.

Korea Land and Housing Corporation (Myanmar) is overseeing the construction of the industrial complex north of Yangon.

Earlier this month, during an official visit to Myanmar, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in attended the opening ceremony for the complex.

KMIC is one of two large projects being undertaken by the South Korean government in Myanmar, the other being the Dala Korea- Myanmar Friendship Bridge also in Yangon.

KMIC is being built on a 224 hectare site about 10 kilometres north of Yangon, near Nyaung Na Pin Village in Hlegu Township, Yangon. The complex is being built as a 60-40 joint venture by government-owned Korea Land and Housing Corp and Myanmar’s Ministry of Construction.

A memorandum of understanding for the project was first signed in 2015. In August this year, the formal agreement for the joint venture was signed between Myanmar’s Ministry of Construction, Korea Land and Housing Corporation, and South Korea-based international clothing manufacturer Global SAE-A Co Ltd.

The project is expected to cost US$110 million (K166.4 billion) and is expected to be completed in 2024.

According to Kim, construction work on the project is scheduled to start by the middle of next year.

He said the real work of attracting large South Korean companies to set up shop in the complex will only begin next year.

“I am sure that Korea Land and Housing Corp can bring world-renowned companies to KMIC based on its reputation,” Kim said.

During his visit in September, President Moon also spoke of encouraging South Korean businesses to invest in KMIC.

Kim said, once KMIC is completed, it is expected to host some 200 global companies and create at least 100,000 jobs, all of which will boost the local economy.

“The goal of establishing KMIC is improving the local industrial sector, the country’s export capabilities, human resource development, as well as job creation. The Ministry of Construction will also be developing infrastructure around the complex, bringing additional benefits for the country,” said Minister of Construction U Han Zaw.

The Ministry of Construction will receive US$60 million for power, water, and road infrastructure projects for KMIC out of US$1 billion allocated to Myanmar in an economic development cooperation fund for the project.

Once it is completed, KMIC is expected to play host to businesses in textiles and garments, food and beverage processing, logistics, construction materials and assembly, Kim said.

According to Directorate of Investment and Company Administration data, South Korea is the sixth-largest investor in Myanmar. Between 1988 and August this year, South Korean companies have invested some US$3.9 billion in 178 projects. The investments have mostly been in oil and gas, and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Korea Land and Housing Corp and the Yangon Region government also signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct feasibility studies for the construction of the Dala New City Project, in Dala Township, Yangon, during South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Myanmar.

“Korea Land and Housing Corp) has a proven track record in building large new towns in South Korea. Combined with the perfect location near Yangon’s downtown area, the successful completion of the project is very likely. We have just started investigation in order to consider developing the Dala area,” Kim told The Myanmar Times.

“ Myanmar is growing at a staggering pace. It is a strategic hub linking China and India with ASEAN, and KMIC is situated right in the heart of the action, providing world- class facilities from which businesses can thrive and prosper,” Kim said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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