Dawei Port Project

The Dawei Port Project

Dawei project to resume in Myanmar The Myanmar authorities are examining how to resume the currently interrupted SEZ with a deepwater port in Myanmar. The Myanmar Times reports that two task forces have been set up to investigate the resumption of Dawei SEZ design, one focused on issues with the designer in the early stages of the project and the other on the extension of an 150-kilometre long highway connecting the area with the isolated area of Htee Khee.

Myanmar's administration is to promote the latter within the next two years. Dawei SEZ comprises the port of Dawei along a motorway that will link Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand with Africa, the Middle East, Europe and India. The port would also shorten transport times, as it would no longer have to cross the straits of Malacca.

Once completed, the area would be one of the largest mega-projects in South East Asia, at a cost of $8 billion and with an early phase alone of over $1 billion. In 2008, Myanmar and Thailand concluded a MoU of Understanding for the establishment of SED, while Italian-Thai Developing Public Company (ITD) received a 60-year deepwater port, park, highway and railway construction permit for the city of Kanchanaburi in western Thailand.

In 2013, however, ITD withdrew from the business and pointed to bottlenecks, while there were also allegations from the EU about the shortfall in compensations for building work, environmental contamination and disruptions. Although ITD terminated the agreement in 2015, SEZ in Dawei, the Tanintharyi region's regional capitol near the Thai-Myanmar frontier, has since come to a standstill.

There are two other SEZ projects in Myanmar. The Thilawa SEZ is currently the only one in service in the south of Yangon after Kyaukphyu SEZ in Rakhine came to a standstill in the shareholders' talks between the Myanmar administration and China's CITIC-led group.

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