published on April, 8 2563
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Officials are expecting the outbreak of COVID-19 to slow the development of Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tanintharyi Region.
“The virus is affecting the development process, including road construction,” said U Tin Htoo Naing, secretary of Dawei SEZ.
Things are being delayed just as foreign investors were showing interest in the project. International investors were invited to invest in Dawei SEZ in October 2019, and many countries such as Singapore, India, Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia as well as several companies from Myanmar showed interest in investing in the SEZ.
In February, U Myint San, vice chair of Dawei SEZ Management Committee, told The Myanmar Times that a state-owned Chinese firm had expressed interest to invest in Dawei SEZ and that talks with the Italian-Thai Development Company Ltd (ITD) as well as the Japan and Thai governments to kick start development are at advanced stages.
ITD had been given until March 27 to reply to a final draft Land Lease Agreement prepared by the government after which a Notice to Proceed will be issued to the company once a reply has been received. It is unclear if this process has been completed.
Mooted in 2018, the Dawei SEZ is expected to be the largest SEZ in South East Asia – about eight times larger than Thilawa SEZ – and over ten times larger than Kyauk Phyu SEZ when complete. It has an area of about 50,000 acres and about 200 sq km.
However, development of the basic infrastructure in the areas has yet commence due to repeated delays.
Now, it appears it will take even longer for the SEZ to get on its feet. – Translated