Dawei Special Economic Zone launched


Char Kae village, Dawei Industrial zone construction site. Photo: daweiproject.blogspot.com

The Myanmar government, on August 5, 2015, through the Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee, and a consortium of private developers, signed a concession agreement regarding the Dawei Special Economic Zone (Dawei SEZ) initial phase development,according to a press release from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants on 5 August.

The consortium of private developers includes Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited, Rojana Industrial Park Public Company Limited, and LNG Plus International Company Limited.

The initial phase development involves the construction of a small port, power plants, a two-lane road to Thailand, an LNG terminal, an initial township, a telecom landline and an industrial estate focusing on labour-intensive industries.

This initial phase development marks the beginning of a longer-term plan for Dawei. Dawei SEZ is expected to become one of the largest special economic zones in the world, leveraging its strategic position in the centre of South-East Asia. It also provides access to the Andaman Sea to the west, proximity to Bangkok and Thailand's Eastern Seaboard and further beyond, to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Roland Berger supported the Myanmar and Thai governments in preparing for the initial phase development, as well as developed the long-term master plan of Dawei SEZ. In doing so, Roland Berger consultants collaborated with officials and a wide range of related ministries from both countries on a daily basis.

While the initial phase development will target labour-intensive industries such as textile and garments and food processing, the long-term master plan will attract other industries to Dawei SEZ as well. These industries include automotive, steel, electronics and electric goods, rubber, metals, chemicals, refinery, fertilizers, plastics and pharmaceuticals.

"Eventually, the zone will have a deep seaport as well as a highway to Thailand," said Damien Dujacquier, Partner at Roland Berger. "The aim is to create a regionally-integrated, world-class, and export-focused special economic zone.” He added that Dawei SEZ would be developed in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, in line with international practices.

"Investors will be attracted by its strategic location, competitive labourcosts, and import duty exemptions to key export markets such as the European Union. Additionally, an investor-friendly SEZ legal framework, as well as strong growth of the overall Myanmar economy and the abundance of certain local resources will also buoy interest from the business community," Mr. Dujacquier said.

The Dawei SEZ also benefits from support from both the Myanmar and Thai governments. For example, a governance structure involving the two countries has been set up and is jointly chaired by His Excellency, President U Thein Sein of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and His Excellency, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand.

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