Japan offers to participate in Dawei SEZ development

Japan has made an official offer to participate in the development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), said U Myint San, Vice Chair of the SEZ management committee.

“The Japanese government has made a proposal after we invited them to participate in the project on a government-to-government (G2G) level on November 5.

They’ve sent a letter to both the Myanmar and Thai governments indicating their interest to participate in the Dawei SEZ,” he said.

“Despite the pandemic, Myanmar was able to quickly approve Japan’s participation,” he said.

Myanmar is counting on financial and technical support from Japan to kickstart construction of the long-delayed SEZ.

The latest development comes after a state-owned Chinese firm expressed interest to invest in Dawei SEZ in February.

Meanwhile, feasibility studies for the construction of an oil refinery at the SEZ by two Chinese firms have been delayed due to COVID-19. The studies were to be conducted in cooperation with local company Myanmar Chemical and Machinery Co. Ltd.

The Dawei SEZ is expected to be the largest SEZ in South East Asia – about eight times larger than Thilawa SEZ in Yangon – and over ten times larger than Kyauk Phyu SEZ in Rakhine when complete.

Located 20 kilometres north of Dawei, capital of Tanintharyi Region in Myanmar’s southeast coast bordering Thailand, the Dawei SEZ comprises 20,000 hectares of land and includes industrial as well as port facilities.

Italian-Thai Development (ITD), a Thai construction firm, was to have taken the lead in developing the project when the initial memorandum of understanding between the Myanmar and Thai governments was signed in 2008, but the process was stalled in 2013 when the firm ran out of funds.

Talks to restart development have been ongoing until now and the project has been repeatedly delayed.

Source : Myanmar Times

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