Source: The Myanmar Times
Date: 12 March 2018
The infrastructure necessary for Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be fully completed within four years, according to Thilawa SEZ Management Committee (TSMC) and Japanese officials. These include roads, bridges, electricity, water supply and a jetty, which will be completed by 2021, the officials said during a press conference on the latest developments in Thilawa last week.
For electricity supply, two 25 MW fuel and gas power plants were constructed in April 2017 in addition to 50 MW gas power plant in March 2016. Similarly, a 230 KV Thilawa power distribution plant was built in November 2017 and it will soon become operational and supply electricity in the SEZ, they said.
"Required infrastructure for Thilawa is going to be 100pc completed. Over 90pc of land in Zone A of the SEZ and 50pc of land in Zone B has been sold. However, the number of factories that have started running is only over 40 due to lack of electricity," TSMC chair U Set Aung said.
Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT) and another new container jetty will also be constructed by December 2018, officials said.
For water supply, La Gwan Byin water supply project in South Dagon, Yangon, is expected to start distribution to Thilawa in 2019, Masayuki Karasawa from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said.
So far, foreign direct investments into Thilawa have amounted to more than $1 billion. A total of 45 Japanese firms, 14 from Thailand, six from Korea, five from Taiwan, three from Singapore, three from Malaysia, four from Myanmar and one from America, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and Indonesia respectively have been permitted to invest.
"The Japanese government aims to help investors until project completion. It will also provide further support beyond completion," said Tateshi Higuchi, Japan's Ambassador to Myanmar.
When the SEZ is fully completed, it is expected to draw about $40 billion of foreign investments and produce up to $457 billion per year, U Set Aung added.
As the Thilawa SEZ is nears completion, there have been a growing number of enquiries from Japanese investors. More than 200 Japan companies have visited Myanmar in the past year, said Osamu Mizui, executive vice president of JETRO.