Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Burmese public company to run Thilawa industrial zone

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 18:04 Aung Myat Tun

A public company needs to be formed to run the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, said the National Planning and Economic Development Deputy Minister Set Aung.

“We aim to form a public company so that any Burmese citizen can invest in Thilawa and to avoid a situation where a monopoly can occur,” said Set Aung. “We will limit the number of shares that a person or a company can buy.”

A truck waits to unload wooden logs onto a ship at the Myanmar International Terminal at the huge Thilawa industrial zone project near Yangon on January 4, 2013. (PHOTO: AP)

Thilawa is a massive industrial project being undertaken as an addition to a deep-sea port in Thanlyin and Kyauktan Townships, some 25 km south of Rangoon.

Burma and Japan will jointly run the Special Economic Zone; Japan with a 49% stake in the partnership and Burma with 51%.

Several major Japanese companies have investments in the industrial zone, including the Mitsubishi, Marubeni and Sumitomo corporations. It has been learnt that the Japanese government, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and some Japanese banks will also become involved in the project.

Tokyo has reportedly offered the Burmese side a sizeable loan at an interest rate of 0.1% to help finance its share of the project.

A workshop was held in December at the International Business Center in Rangoon. Farmers whose lands were confiscated or relocated to make way for the Special Economic Zone took part in the workshop, said Set Aung.

The National Planning and Economic Development Deputy Minister also said that businesspersons wishing to conduct construction or electrical work at Thilawa can apply for permits from the respective ministries.

When completed, the Thilawa Special Economic Zone will be the largest industrial complex in Southeast Asia. The total cost of the project will be announced in late January, said Set Aung.

The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chairman Win Aung said Thilawa will create many jobs for Burmese workers.
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