By Mai Lan
Dawei, Tanintharyi, Myanmar, November 26, 2015
The Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) is a major industrial project and deep sea port now at an initial phase of construction located in Taninthayri Region, Myanmar. The original plan, led by the Thai construction company Ital-Thai since 2008, was for a US$ 50 billion project that entailed a 250 kilometer square industrial zone. However, by 2012 the project was in deep trouble as it failed to attract investment and was challenged by civil society groups concerned about impact on local livelihoods and the environment, as well as the overall decision-making process around the project. It was reformulated by the governments of Myanmar and Thailand as a Government-to-Government project in a scaled-back form, who also sought support from the Japanese government, and initial construction activities are now underway.
Despite the extensive media attention on the Dawei SEZ, apart from knowing that it is a mega project with regional impacts, many local people still know very little about the details of the project and how it could change their lives.
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