Myanmar president urges acceleration of SEZ development

Nay Pyi Taw, Dec 22 (IANS) Myanmar President U Thein Sein has urged the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) working body to speed up the tender process or implementation of some key SEZs during the present term of the government which is to expire on March 30, official media reported on Tuesday.

SEZ projects are important in terms of connectivity not only for Myanmar but also for the Asean region as they are strategically located on international routes in coastal regions, Xinhua cited U Thein Sein, who is also chairman of the central working body, telling consulting firms, preferred bidders and officials concerned.

The president referred to the country’s three SEZ projects — the Kyaukphyu in Rakhine state which is under the tendering process, the Thilawa SEZ in Yangon region and Dawei SEZ in Tanintharyi region.

The Thilawa SEZ attracts Japanese investors, while the Dawei SEZ was implemented by Thai investors.

A total of 48 foreign companies have invested $500 million in the Thilawa SEZ, which the report described as the most successful one in Myanmar.

The initial project for the Dawei SEZ was being carried out by Roland Berger, a global strategy consulting firm headquartered in Munich, Germany, the report said.

The Myanmar government also seeks parliament approval to demarcate a 1,727 hectares of land in Kyaukphyu, Yanpye and Manaung townships under the regional master plan to establish the Kyaukphyu SEZ in the region.

The initial phase of the Kyaukphyu SEZ development project will have a deep-sea port, an industrial park and an integrated residential area.

The Kyaukphyu SEZ project is expected to start implementation in February 2016 in an initial area of 100 hectares for developing an industrial park. The overall project will take 20 to 30 years.

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