By Karen News
Dawei, Tanintharyi, Myanmar, July 26, 2015
The cabinet on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging economic partnership with Japan that will be signed during Prime Minister official visit next week.
It was reported in the Bangkok Post that a spokesman for Thailand’s government, Sansern Kaewkamnerd said “Japan had agreed at the recent meeting between Thailand, Japan and Myanmar to take part in the Dawei project and possibly offer soft loans for construction of a 138-kilometre road linking Dawei and the Thai border. Japan has also agreed to hold an equal partnership in Dawei SEZ Development Co (DSEZ), a special-purpose vehicle (SPV), to run the project.”
The recently named DSEZ has taken over from the Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), who held the initial concession given by the Burma government in 2010. The Bangkok Post pointed out that in “June 2013, Thailand and Myanmar agreed to set up DSEZ with an equal shareholding and initial investment of 12 million baht, far below the 100 million baht proposed earlier. The company is registered in Thailand.”
The Bangkok Post reported that Japan and Thailand have agreed to set up “SPVs to manage the port, road and rail links, power plants, waterworks, industrial estates, telecommunications and a township. SPVs will be registered in Myanmar.”
Mr Sansern as quoted in the Bangkok Post said the “MoU would also include a 1.435-metre standard-gauge railway development on three possible routes: Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Kanchanaburi-Sa Kaeo, and Mae Sot-Mukdahan.”
Padoh Saw Eh Na, joint secretary of the Karen National Union, Megui/Tavoy district spoke toKaren News about the proposed project.
“The area [of the mega projects] is not under our control, it’s close to the coastline that is under government control. We [KNU] have not seen any new activity going on in our areas. But for anything linked to the projects that fall in our control area, they will have to let us know about the plans.”