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Other Special Economic Zones

Individual Documents

Title: Kyaukphyu SEZ ‘Key’ to China Business Corridor, But Doubts Remain
Date of publication: 19 September 2014
Description/subject: "Kyaukphyu port on Burma’s western coast could play a key role in a Beijing-led economic corridor plan linking neighbors India, Bangladesh and China. But economists and foreign policy analysts are divided over whether the Naypyidaw government’s ambitions for a special economic zone (SEZ) around Kyaukphyu in Arakan State are viable. The so-called BCIM Corridor, for Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar, was a key issue of discussion by China’s President Xi Jinping this week on a rare visit to India by a Chinese head of state. A pivotal spot along the corridor would be Mandalay, linking China’s Yunnan province capital Kunming with northeast India and on into Bangladesh. But observers see the BCIM proposal as also instrumental in giving China access to the Indian Ocean. The BCIM is a grand plan for Beijing to “gain access to multiple coastal zones that are considered crucial for the next-generation Chinese economy,” commented India’s Telegraph business newspaper. Within Burma this points to Kyaukphyu for the Chinese, who have already built a crude oil transshipment terminal there as well as controversial oil and gas pipelines that start at Kyaukphyu and run the length of Burma into Yunnan... However, Chinese plans for a railway linking Yunnan with Kyaukphyu have soured amid a cooling relationship between Naypyidaw and Beijing..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2014


Title: Myanmar's not so special economic zones
Date of publication: 25 October 2013
Description/subject: "This is the final article in a two-part series, Myanmar's False Frontier. Part 1: Economic reform as flawed ideology The Framework for Economic and Social Reforms (FESR) announced by Myanmar President Thein Sein earlier this year detailed reforms aimed at fostering the country's transition to a "modern, developed and democratic nation by 2030". Its strategy outlines a series of economic and social measures aimed at achieving macro-economic stability, permissible levels of inflation, and strong industrial growth..."
Author/creator: David Baulk
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


Title: Myanmar, Japan to build vast industrial zone
Date of publication: 21 December 2012
Description/subject: "Myanmar and Japan agreed to start work next year on a huge industrial zone near Yangon, officials from the two countries said Friday, as the impoverished nation hungrily eyes foreign investment. The 2,400-hectare Thilawa project will include a port and industrial park and be up and running in 2015, according to Japan’s Ministry for Economic, Trade and Industries (METI)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: AFP
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2012


Title: Danger Zone - Giant Chinese industrial zone threatens Burma’s Arakan coast (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 17 December 2012
Description/subject: "China’s plans to build a giant industrial zone at the terminal of its Shwe gas and oil pipelines on the Arakan coast will damage the livelihoods of tens of thousands of islanders and spell doom for Burma’s second largest mangrove forest. The 120 sq km “Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) will be managed by Chinese state-owned CITIC group on Ramree island, where China is constructing a deep sea port for ships bringing oil from the Middle East and Africa. An 800-km railway is also being built from Kyauk Phyu to Yunnan, under a 50 year BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement, forging a Chinese-managed trade corridor from the Indian Ocean across Burma. Investment in the railway and SEZ, China’s largest in Southeast Asia, is estimated at US $109 billion over 35 years. Construction of the pipelines and deep-sea port has already caused large-scale land confiscation. Now 40 villages could face direct eviction from the SEZ, while many more fear the impacts of toxic waste and pollution from planned petrochemical and metal industries. No information has been provided to local residents about the projects. It is urgently needed to have stringent regulations in place to protect the people and environment before projects such as these are implemented in Burma."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Arakan Oil Watch
Format/size: pdf (810K-English; 1MB-Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Danger-Zone-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 December 2012


Title: Rohingya miss boat on development
Date of publication: 09 November 2012
Description/subject: "The ethnic conflict that ravaged much of Rakhine State in western Myanmar last month was an opportunity for more than settling old and new scores between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhines and co-religionist new arrivals from elsewhere in the country. Those involved were also clearing land in a densely populated area that is set to be among the country's prime bits of real estate as energy-related projects start transforming the impoverished state. More than 100 people (some reports indicate many times that number) were killed last month, untold others were wounded, and an estimated 28,000 fled or were driven from their homes in clashes between the stateless Rohingya and Buddhist citizens in a recurrence of violence last June. They are the latest incidents involving evicted ethnic groups around the country weeks before US President Obama visits Myanmar later this month. "The government has taken the opportunity to create more violence allowing a destabilized and vulnerable state which they can then take the natural resources from. This is believed to be the main reason to why so many villages [in Rakhine State] were razed to the ground," the representative of one non-government organization (NGO) told Asia Times Online, citing the source as a Rakhine resident..."
Author/creator: Syed Tashfin Chowdhury and Chris Stewart
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2012


Title: Thilawa SEZ by Early 2013: Govt Official
Date of publication: 24 October 2012
Description/subject: "The Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located 25 km south of Rangoon should be operational early next year, Dr. Kan Zaw, Burmese Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, told a seminar on Sunday. The project will be jointly controlled by the Japan External Trade Organization and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) with a 49 and 51 percent share respectively, said the government official. “All these instances of sound economics have materialized after we implemented reform,” said Kan Zaw. “We invited international investment. This Thilawa SEZ is the product of creating an investor-friendly environment.” Under the umbrella of the UMFCCI, shareholders of many associations from difference industrial sectors are expected to invest, but critics have complained about a lack of transparency and the possibility of a monopoly..."
Author/creator: May Lay
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 October 2012


Title: Four more special industrial zones set for Burma
Date of publication: 03 October 2012
Description/subject: "Burma plans to set up seven more local industrial zones in addition to the existing 18 in the country, official state-run media said on Wednesday. The seven planned new industrial zones will be located in Tatkon in Naypyitaw, Yadanarbon in Mandalay, Hpa-an, Myawaddy and Phayathonzu in Kayin state, Ponnagyun in Rakhine State and Namoum in Shan state, the Ministry of Industry announced in the New Light of Myanmar. The expansion will bring the number of such zones to 25 in the country, the report said, adding that the new industrial zones will be able to generate many jobs for local residents. Burma also has several special economic zone (SEZ) projects such as Thilawa in Yangon's Thilawa Port, Dawei in southern Taninthayi region and Kyaukphyu in western Rakhine State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Mizzima" News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2012


Title: Three Japanese industrial groups to establish special economic zone in Myanmar
Date of publication: 02 September 2012
Description/subject: "Three Japanese industrial and economic groups have reached an agreement with the Myanmar government to jointly establish a special economic zone (SEZ), Thilawa, in Yangon's Thilawa Port, local media Voice reported Sunday. Under the agreement, Japan's Mitsuibishi Corporation, Marubeni Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation will obtain 49 percent of stake to run the 2,400-hectare Thilawa SEZ, while Myanmar entrepreneurs in the form of public company, will take 56 percent, Myanmar's Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry was quoted as saying. The Japanese side will provide financial assistance to the SEZ' s infrastructural development such as factories and workshops and one natural-gas-fired power plant, the report said. In addition to foreign investors, Myanmar government has also invited domestic entrepreneurs to make investment in the project through share. However, the permitted amount of the investment and the duration of the project and other details have not been revealed, the report added..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Business Network
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012


Title: Myanmar, foreign companies to implement SEZ in southwestern region
Date of publication: 19 January 2012
Description/subject: "Some three Myanmar companies and four foreign ones will jointly implement a special economic zone (SEZ) project in Pathein, southwestern Ayeyawady region in 2013 in a bid to promote national economy, a local media reported Thursday. Two companies from Thailand, one each from China's Hong Kong and Indonesia and Myanmar big companies -- Shwe Than Lwin Co.,Htoo Trading Co.and IGD will be involved in implementing the project named Myanmar Super Axis worth about 5.5 billion U.S. dollars, the 7-Day News said. The project, covering an area of 3,037 hectares and including a deep sea-port, ecotourism and three industrial zones, represents the largest project in the region. The project, which is expected to be completed by 2025, was granted by the Myanmar government. Meanwhile, a special economic zone (SEZ) in Myawaddy, southeastern Kayin State, is also being planned with the cooperation of Thailand. The economic zone also includes the Hpa-an industrial zone and more such zones will follow in Thingan Nyinaung in the same state as well as in Mon, Shan and Tanintharyi states and region."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Xinhua
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2012


Title: Newly Emerging Industrial Development Nodes in Myanmar: Ports, Roads, Industrial Zones along Economic Corridors
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: Introduction 1. Dawei 2. Kyauk Phyu 3. Sittway 4. Thilawa 5. Monywa 6. Pakokku 7. Challenges of Connectivity Conclusion....."Considering the cross-border transport infrastructure in East Asia, the location of Myanmar is crucial in connecting China, India and ASEAN countries. As a matter of fact, neighbouring countries have started infrastructure investment in Myanmar. Thailand is enthusiastic in developing deep sea ports and industrial complexes at Dawei, which will create a new alternative international trade route other than the present maritime route through the Malacca Strait. China has undertaken the deep sea port at Kyauk Phyu and the pipeline to Yunnan Province in order to build a logistic route to supply energy such as petroleum from Middle East and natural gas from the Shwe Gas Project near Kyauk Phyu. And China is also interested in investing in the port and industrial complex at Thilawa, a city located about 30 km from Yangon, and now it will appear as a special economic zone (SEZ). India has started to develop the port of Sittway in order to open a gateway from the northeastern part of India and link to a sea line through the Kaladan River and Sittway Port. The development of these port areas increases the connectivity among Thailand, India, China and Myanmar. In addition, the cities on the opposite shore of the Ayeyawady River, such as Monywa and Pakokku, have obtained a better possibility of being industrialized by constructing new bridges. On the other hand, the government of Myanmar has issued the Special Economic Zone Law and the Dawei Special Economic Zone Law. Similar laws for Thilawa and Kyauk Phyu would be enacted. The purpose of this study is to make clear the government plan for regional 187 ." development in Myanmar, and examine the connectivity between the designated regions . " and metropolises such as Yangon and Mandalay and the potential for industrial development on the routes to metropolises. In order to realize further industrialization and smooth logistics in the metropolitan area, it is necessary to point out the locations of industrial estates, ports and harbors, and airports. At the same time, the supply and demand of the infrastructure should be important. On the other hand, the development of roads and city planning has to accompany the growth of the region. In order to identify these challenges, a field survey was conducted in some local cities and ports of Yangon in August 20 11, collecting various data on industrial estates, ports and harbors, airports, roads, railways and other development projects. 1 This chapter describes the situation of 4 local cities in Myanmar; Dawei, Kyauk Phyu, Monywa and Pakokku; and identifies their potential as emerging development nodes of new economic corridors in Myanmar as well as in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)..."
Author/creator: Aung Min and Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Emerging Economic Corridors in the Mekong Region, edited by Masami Ishida, BRC Research Report No.8, Bangkok Research Center, IDE-JETRO, Bangkok, Thailand.
Format/size: pdf (1.01MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/08.html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012


Title: The price of Special Economic Zones
Date of publication: 03 August 2011
Description/subject: "A lot have been said about the benefits of establishing a special economic zone (SEZ). It is seen to boost national economy as it would attract foreign investments brought by a much friendlier set of regulations in terms of duties and tariffs which results in an atmosphere more conducive to a smoother influx of goods and services. This may result in employment and, probably, development of new technologies. Establishment of SEZs is part of the Asian Development Bank's "economic corridor" approach to development which includes construction of super highways, railways and transmission lines to hasten trade and investment among countries in a given region. An SEZ complements this development approach as it opens up a country to the global economy. However, there are tradeoffs that may come with SEZs: prostitution, human trafficking, displacement and even drug abuse. Here's a compelling story that provides a glimpse of how SEZs affect local communities. Focusing on Laos, the author shares the impact of establishing SEZs. Without putting the right safeguards in place to hold the government and the ADB accountable, local communities are exposed to exploitation..."
Author/creator: Burrito
Language: English
Source/publisher: NGO Forum on ADB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012


Title: Boom or Bust?
Date of publication: August 2010
Description/subject: The Burmese junta is moving ahead with the Myawaddy special economic zone, which may or may not benefit the DKBA... "The Burmese military regime has long talked about, but never implemented, a special economic zone (SEZ) near the Burma-Thailand border. But the junta’s cabinet recently approved the official creation of the SEZ, along with a plan to increase investment in the project. This could result in a business boom for Col. Chit Thu and his Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) cronies who control the area surrounding the SEZ and have already established their own commercial empire on the border. But if the project is too successful, it could turn into a bust for Chit Thu, because the junta might want to keep control in the hands of its own generals..."
Author/creator: Alex Ellgee
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 August 2010


Title: Industrial zones in Burma and Burmese labour in Thailand
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Massive migration of Burmese workers into Thailand affects both countries. On one hand, it depletes the availability of skilled workers in Burma, which is a clear loss for a developing country, while on the other hand, Thailand benefits from such a reservoir of cheap manpower. Burma receives the monthly remittances of its expatriate workers, but Thai entrepreneurs capitalise on the value added to their export-oriented productions by the work of the Burmese migrants. Each country is aware of the size of the phenomenon and its impact on their economy, but each reacts differently. The Myanmar junta chooses to ignore the huge emigration taking place, because it reduces the potential of social, if not political, demands building up within society. The Thai government plays down the boost given to its economy by the widespread use of cheap Burmese workers by its industries, and prefers to play up the supposed or real social disorders said to be brought by Burmese immigrants: increase of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis industrial zones in burma 181 and HIV; the drain on hospital resources to care for sick Burmese;45 the expansion of prostitution; and murders and thefts. The dual attitude of the Thai authorities is politically useful to hide their own social and health shortcomings from their own population. The contribution of migrants to the Thai economy is still unrecognised officially, although a ‘new vision’ towards migrants is beginning to appear in government circles, probably out of necessity and to be in accordance with the Economic Cooperation Strategy illustrated by the launch of the first economic and industrial zone in Myawaddy-Mae Sot. For their part, Burmese authorities, until now ignoring the plight of their expatriate workers, recently realised the potential political benefits of monitoring such a huge workforce in Thailand."
Author/creator: Guy Lubeigt
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2006 Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (760K)
Alternate URLs: http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf/whole_book.pdf
http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf_instructions.html
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008