Why set up special economic zones?

As of the end of December 2020, the value of foreign investment in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Thanlyin Township, Rangoon Region, was about US $ 1.4 billion, according to figures released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

According to DICA’s end-of-year 2020 report, up to 60 foreign-invested companies from 18 countries have invested in the Thilawa SEZ, valued at $ 1.382 billion. From the previous government’s 2016-2017 fiscal year to the end of 2020, Japan was the largest investor in the Thilawa SEZ with $ 447.367 million. Singapore is the second largest investor with $ 415.423 million.

Thailand is the third largest investor with $ 175.588 million. The major investment sectors in the Thilawa SEZ are manufacturing; Trade; Services Transportation; Hotel and tourism; Foreign-invested companies are investing in six major industries, including real estate. Of the six major sectors, manufacturing is the largest, with nearly $ 1.2 billion in investment.

According to figures released by DICA, the investment in the trade sector is over $ 98 million; More than 45 million investment in the service sector; More than $ 27 million in investment in the transportation sector; It has invested more than $ 12 million in the hotel and tourism sector and more than $ 8 million in real estate. According to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), in the five years from the 2016-2017 fiscal year to the end of 2020, foreign investment in Myanmar exceeded $ 25.3 billion.

Most of these investments are in manufacturing and transportation. The investment target based on the base case of the Myanmar Investment Plan is $ 5.8 billion annually for a short-term five-year period from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021; $ 8.5 billion annually for the five-year medium term from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 fiscal year; $ 12.3 billion annually from fiscal year 2025-2026 to fiscal year 2030-2031; It is expected to receive $ 17.6 billion annually from fiscal year 2031-2036.

The above information can be considered as the success of Thilawa SEZ. Leaders of Japan and Myanmar, who co-founded the Thilawa SEZ, visited and acknowledged the success. Myanmar has already planned to establish three Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country. In addition to SEZ planning, SEZ management committees were also formed.

The three SEZ projects are Thilawa SEZ; Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and Deep Sea Port; and Dawei Special Economic Zone and Deep Sea Port. Thilawa SEZ is a Japanese joint venture with a majority of Japanese companies. Thilawa SEZ area expansion and deep-sea port area expansion; There are plans to expand the port with Japanese investment.

China is investing $ 1.3 billion in the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and deep-sea port. The Kyaukphyu SEZ project is expected to require an initial investment of $ 7.8 billion. However, due to concerns that the Chinese debt burden could be heavy for Myanmar and the risk of a Chinese debt trap, officials from both countries will reconsider and implement the project in parts. The first phase will start with $ 1.3 billion.

Dawei Deep Sea Port and Special Economic Zone Thailand and Japan will coordinate. The Dawei SEZ project will be divided into two parts, the initial project and the main project, with the main project to build a highway from Dawei SEZ to Kanchanaburi on the Thai border. The main project includes the construction of a deep-sea port; Natural gas power generation; Infrastructure; Roads, bridges, In the construction of urban housing

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