Myanmar woos investors with Thai-backed industrial park project in Yangon

Myanmar is raising efforts to draw more foreign investments into the local manufacturing sector. On December 27, the government inaugurated the US$274 million Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City industrial park project, which will be jointly constructed by the Myanmar Department of Urban and Housing Development (DUHD) and Thailand’s Amata Corporation PCL under the supervision of the Yangon Region Government.

The Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City will be built on 2000 acres of land beside the No.2 highway near Lay Htaunt Kan village, with 1200 acres in Dagon East and 800 acres in Dagon South townships. The project will be developed in five phases over a period of five years in order to enjoy tax exemptions granted under the Myanmar Investment Law. It is expected to create 35,912 new jobs when it is complete.

It is understood that four Thai firms, including Thailand’s national oil company PTTEP, will jointly construct a power plant to supply power for the project. The Department of Urban and Housing Development will own a 20 percent stake in the industrial park, which is registered in Hong Kong, while Amata Asia Myanmar Ltd will hold the remaining 80pc. A land lease agreement has been signed on January 24, according to the Ministry of Construction.

The Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City was inaugurated shortly after development of the US$100 million Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex (KMIC) commenced in Hlegu township, Yangon, on December 24. The Korea-backed industrial park will be jointly owned by the Ministry of Construction, Korea Land and Housing Corporation and Korea’s Global SAE-A Ltd on 558 acres of land in Nyaung-nhit-pin, Hlegu township. Land plots in KMIC’s industrial park will be available for lease online at rates between US$69 and US$75 for one square meter starting from January 21.

The two new industrial parks will give investors more options to open manufacturing facilities in Myanmar as they will come equipped with basic infrastructure such as roads and power plants and offer incentives such as tax exemptions. Currently, Myanmar has just one such industrial park – the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Thanlyin township, Yangon – which opened in 2015. By developing more industrial zones that meet international standards, the government is hoping to lure foreign manufacturers to open up factories in Myanmar. Already, some 135 Korean firms are expected to invest US$ 48.5 million in KMIC.

Another two Yangon industrial parks, the US$230 million Myanmar Singapore Industrial Park in Hlegu township and China-banked Htantabin park in Hlaing Tharyar township are now also being constructed. Besides drawing more foreign direct investments and creating jobs, the investors are also expected to introduce new technologies and skills to Myanmar.

During the Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City ceremony, it is said that there is a need for more technology-based ventures and large-scale investments post COVID-19. He added that the Thai-backed project will draw tech-savvy investors to set up factories in Yangon. It is also said that Myanmar must keep up with technological advances, and if it continues filling only the basic jobs, it will not be able to move up the value chain in the future.

Source: Myanmar Times

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