28 Jan 20 - Source: Myanmar Times - The construction ministry inked a deal with a Thai firm to build a US$1 billion "smart city" in northeastern Yangon.
The JV agreement - signed last Friday - would pave way to more than 30,000 new jobs and US$60 million in direct tax, the two sides said.
The ministry's Department of Urban and Housing Development and Amata Asia (Myanmar), a subsidiary of Thailand-based industrial conglomerate, Amata Corporation, have signed a joint venture agreement for the development of Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City (YASEC) project over a land of 2000 acres near Laydaungkan village, located between South Dagon and East Dagon townships.
The JV is named YASEC Limited, with Amata holding 80 percent of shares. The company is leasing the land from the Yangon regional government for 50 years with an extension of another 10 years, and another 10 years for the YASEC project.
After Amata proposed the idea in early 2017, it conducted a feasibility study in May 2017. In December 2017, the engineering survey and the Environmental Impact Assessment were carried out. The Myanmar Investment Commission granted the permit two years later, in October 2019.
Amata also signed a memorandum of understanding with five supporting international strategic partners; Industrial Gas Provider, Communication and Information Technology, Power Plant and Natural Gas, Cement-Building Materials and International vocational school institute.
"[The agreement meant] strengthening economic stability, reducing poverty, human resources and social development. The YASEC will create more than 33,000 job opportunities," said YASEC managing director Yasuo Tsutsui, adding that the firm is committed to the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan.
The company claimed that this is the first sustainable smart and eco city Myanmar bringing international sustainable practices such as water treatment and utilising green and smart technology. A masterplan is being developed with Singaporean consulting firm Surbana Jurong, which is also developing an integrated urban project the "New Mandalay Resort City", located on the outskirts of Pyin Oo Lwin township in eastern Mandalay and covering over 10,000 acres.
Based on the development plan of the Yangon Amata Smart City, the first phase of 2000 acres will be developed within five years.
The company said that it is planning to start construction of a power plant and water treatment facilities immediately by the first quarter of this year. The first factory located inside the eco city will be able to start construction by the third quarter and go into operation next year.
Amata Corp is among the largest industrial conglomerates in Thailand and is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with investments in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos as well.