Friday, September 28, 2012

Thailand, Burma agree to stronger coordination on Dawei project

Friday, 28 September 2012 13:08 Mizzima News

Thailand and Burma agreed to put together a high-level coordinating committee to speed up the Dawei deep-sea port project, following a meeting between Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Burma’s President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Burma's President Thein Sein meet in New York City.  Photo: President's office

The plan puts together a “three-level” group of key government officials from each country to steer the financially troubled project forward.

The three-level mechanism comprises a joint committee chaired by the Burmese deputy president and Thai deputy prime minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong; a coordinating committee headed by the Office of National Economic and Social Development Board; and six sub-committees on infrastructure, industrial estates, energy, community development, rules and laws, and financial aspects, said a source, according to an article in The Bangkok Post.

The sub-committees will be headed by the relative ministers in each country.

“Thailand and Myanmar will announce the project plan during the Asean Summit in Cambodia this November and the Bangkok government will host the first meeting soon,” said a source.

Other issues to be discussed during the meetings include Thailand's interest in cooperating with Burma to develop a economic special zone at Thilawa port in Rangoon, he said.

The Dawei deep sea-port, industrial zone and road and rail link to Thailand includes construction of the Dawei deep sea-port, buildings for shipyard and maintenance work, establishment of zone for petrochemical industries, an oil refinery, steel plant, power stations and a Dawei-Bangkok highway and railroad, plus laying of an oil pipeline along the motorway and railroad, according to the framework agreement.

The project, tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2018, will feature steel mills, refineries, a petrochemical complex and power plants and the strategic Dawei deep-sea port, which is designed to bypass the Malacca Strait and shorten the transportation route to Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Burma and Thailand recently agreed to establish connectivity between the Dawei Special Economic Zone in the southernmost part of Burma and the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate of Chonburi south of Bangkok, in talks concluded in July.

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