Home Insider Insider News Works Underway to Expand Thilawa SEZ

Works Underway to Expand Thilawa SEZ

The planned expansion of Myanmar’s first modern industrial park is currently underway, having begun in January following the government’s conclusion of negotiations related to the resettling of residents in and around the development area.

The Thilawa Special Economic Zone, launched as a public-private shared project between Japan and Myanmar, will undergo a (roughly) 100-hectare expansion which will be developed alongside the existing 400-hectare park. The completed section of the park has, so far, attracted $760 million in investments. The expansion is expected to be completed mid-2018.

The industrial park is fully equipped with electricity and waterworks, designed and built to guarantee zero power outages or power/water shortages, a persistent and common issue across Yangon Region during peak electricity use. The first section began commercial operations in September, 2015. About 80 companies have signed up to operate within the park and at the time of print about 90 per cent of the site has been occupied and developed.

Last October, the government of Myanmar, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and trading houses Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Corp,. and Marubeni signed an agreement regarding the expansion. Further investments are expected to reach around 5 billion yen ($44.4 million).

The starting date for the project had previously been delayed as a result of lengthy negotiations over financial compensation to local residents who are being relocated to allow for the expansion.

With existing levels of investment, manufacturing capacity could potentially reach up to $241 million a year, according to Myint Zaw, general manager of Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development Limited. The company expects total investment into Thilawa to reach $1 billion in a few years and the value of annual production to rise to $350 million.