02 Feb Two Thailand-based companies to sign up for Dawei SEZ

Written by Mizzima Published in Investment Read 3358 times
A motorbike passing near a road sign for the Dawei Deep Sea Project Plan in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division, Myanmar, January 28, 2012. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA
A motorbike passing near a road sign for the Dawei Deep Sea Project Plan in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division, Myanmar, January 28, 2012. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

The Thai government has announced that two Thailand-based companies, Italian-Thai Development PLC and Rojana Industrial Park, will sign a US$1.7 billion [K1,700 billion] agreement in March to help develop the long-delayed Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar on February 1.

Thai Deputy Transport Minister Arkhom Termittayapaisit told media on January 30 the initial stage of investment from the two companies for the first stage of the project will be $1.7 billion.

The Dawei SEZ project has seen delays in getting off the ground and a cautious response from Japanese who have been invited to take part in the venture. Dawei SEZ Development Company or DSEZ invited Japanese investors for the first phase of this project, but only two companies, Italian-Thai Development and Rojana Industrial Park, have bid. They will be signing up to develop the highway linking Dawei with Thailand and the building of an industrial estate.

Rojana Industrial Park is a Thai-Japanese joint venture.

In a swopping of chairs, DSEZ replaced Italian-Thai Development, which had received the original concession from the Myanmar government in November 2010.Now Ital-Thai - as it is known - is back but in a subsidiary role.

Myanmar and Thailand have spoken of their high hopes for what could become Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complex, with highway links to Bangkok and Thailand’s eastern seaboard.

The industrial estate is planned to occupy 34 square kilometers, with a 75-year concession of 50 years plus a 25-year extension. The construction period is aimed at eight years starting in the second half of the first year after the contract signing.

Thailand will provide soft loans to Myanmar to meet a budget of about $119.23 million for the road construction, according to a recent Thai government announcement.

The Japanese government is also said to be mulling the provision of loans for road building, according to media reports.