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A special zone on Myanmar’s border

Ambitious plans to turn Dawei, on the Myanmar-Thai border, into a special economic zone and industrial park, meet with resistance from the locals

Dawei SEZ Worker Housing
Worker's housing under construction at Dawei SEZ, Sep 2015##########z##########NIRMAL GHOSH

By Nirmal Ghosh

Dawei, Tanintharyi, Myanmar, October 3, 2015

The Straits Times

DAWEI (Myanmar) • It has been eight long years since engineer Suphap Satthathum first set foot in the tropical scrub jungle by the immense curve of beach near the port town of Dawei, in Myanmar’s southernmost Tanintharyi state that borders Thailand.

But today, as he strides on the jetty his construction company has built, he finds new energy as he shows visitors around the 27 sq km first phase of the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ).

Despite false starts and continuing scepticism, the ambitious development to transform this sleepy, isolated patch of the Andaman Coast into one of Asia’s largest industrial areas may finally be gaining some traction – even if what is visible on the site is still largely open land.

The DSEZ was born out of a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Myanmar and Thailand in 2008, one of three special economic zones in the country meant to attract foreign direct investment, create jobs and spur growth.

Bangkok-based Italian-Thai Development (ITD) was given the 50-year concession to develop the DSEZ and is now working on Phase One of the project.

 

More at Straits Times

 

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