Thursday, 12 June 2014

Myanmar's Thilawa gets first investors

A Japan-funded special economic zone project in Myanmar received its first investors on Friday as US firm Ball Corp and a Japanese auto-parts maker signed contracts to set up manufacturing plants.

In a ceremony at a hotel in Myanmar's commercial city Yangon, the US beverage container maker Ball signed the first lease contract to set up businesses in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, a Japanese-funded redevelopment project near Yangon.

Ball plans to invest US$40 million (1.3 billion baht) in building a beverage can plant at Thilawa SEZ to supply Coca Cola Co's Myanmar joint venture firm Coca Cola Pinya Beverages and several other local, regional and multinational customers, according to the company.

Japanese ambassador to Myanmar Takeshi Higuchi announced a similar signing between a Japanese auto-parts maker and Myanmar-Japan Thilawa Development Co (MJTD), but details were not made available.

MJTD is a joint venture between Myanmar companies and a Japanese consortium made up of trading houses Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Corp and Sumitomo Corp.

Speaking at the ceremony, Higuchi said Friday's signing of contracts is a very important step not only for the economic development of Myanmar but also for Japan-US cooperation for Myanmar's development.

The move by the Japanese and US companies will further encourage potential investors around the world to start business in Myanmar, he added.

The 2,400-hectare Thilawa SEZ about 20 kilometres southeast of Yangon is the first special economic zone in Myanmar being developed as a national project under a private-public partnership system.

Phase I of the SEZ has an area of 200 hectares that is scheduled to open in the middle of next year when a 50-megawatt power plant, a port and connecting roads are completed with Japanese government funding.

source: Bangkok Post
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