More foreign investments expected in Ayeyarwady

Source: MyanmarTimes

Date: 07 Dec 2018

Investors eyeing expansion opportunities in Myanmar might want to consider Ayeyarwady Region, where the government is now prioritising developments in the agriculture, livestock and marine, forestry, industry, infrastructure, transportation and tourism sectors, said regional chief minister U Hla Myo Aung.

"Although much of the country's exports originate in Ayeyarwady, foreign investments in the region are currently minimal. However, we can expect that to rise in the coming years after a new road connecting Ayeyarwady with Yangon is complete and a project that will fulfill Myanmar's electricity needs commences construction in this region," said U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

The officials were speaking at the Ayeyarwady Region Investment Fair 2018 held on November 30.

Meanwhile, the Ayeyarwady Region government is cooperating with Rakhine State and the Ministry of Construction to develop the Ayeyarwady west coast, which will connect the Goyangyi, Ngwe Saung, Chaung Thar, Shwe Thaung Yan, Ma Gyi Sin and Kyauk Chun areas to the Gwa and Thandwe areas in Rakhine State.

The west coast of Ayeyardwady is also linked to the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor and Greater-Mekhong Subregion Project.

When complete, there will be opportunities for foreign investors to contribute to developing infrastructure such as sea ports, heavy industrial zones, factories, power transmission lines, highways and railways along the west coast, said U Htay Win, regional planning and finance minister of Ayeyawady Region.

Plans are now being made for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant project which will generate 1390MW of power when complete. The $2 billion LNG project is being carried out by a consortium comprising Zhefu Group of Companies from Hong Kong, Gunver Group of Companies from Switzerland and Supreme Group of Companies from Myanmar.

Construction will commence after a power purchase agreement between the consortium and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy is inked before May 2019, said U Aung Kyaw Min, Managing Director of Supreme Group.

"The coastal areas of Ayeyarwady have an electricity problem. So, we are aiming to sell the electricity generated to the government so that it can be redistributed to the area. The project will be finished in 2020 and people will get electricity in 2021," he said.

"In addition to supplying electricity to Ayeyarwady Region, this project will also provide extra electricity to Hlaing Tharyar in Yangon Region," said U Aung Kyaw Min.

Meanwhile, six industrial zone projects are under implementation in the west coast of Ayeyarwady.

A deep sea port in Pathein, between Ngwe Saung beach and Chaung Thar beach near Nga Yoke Kaung village, is also being implemented. The port, which is worth US$5.5 billion, is being developed by Thailand's Amera Asia Company and is expected to be completed by 2025. The port will also include three industrial zones and four 700-megawatt power plants.

Tax benefits

To draw more investments, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has earmarked 10 townships in Ayeyarwady Region as undeveloped areas. Under the law, investors will be granted up to seven years tax exemption when carrying out projects in these areas.

"As there are many planned projects, we expect a lot of local and foreign investments will enter," said U Htay Win, regional minister for planning and finance.

Another 17 townships, including Pathein have been defined as moderately-developed areas, in which tax exemptions of up to five years will be granted.

Since April 1, 2016, a total of K 49 billion worth of investments have been permitted by the regional government while US$ 59 million and K 198 billion were approved by the MIC.

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