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  • Investors buy up Dawei real estate

    02/17/2016

    The price of property in Dawei has risen beyond the reach of local residents as investors from overseas and Upper Myanmar buy up land in anticipation of a new special economic zone.

    While the zone has been eight years in the making, there are still few signs of development on the ground. However, recent announcements that construction is moving ahead, combined with escalating conflict in the north of the country, has led to a rise in real estate investment in the area, local residents said.

    Buying property in Tanintharyi Region is an “adventure for investors” they added, as township authorities have no specific land-use policies and land ownership documents are scarce. It is therefore hard to discover who owns the land, as sellers often do not transfer ownership in written form.

  • Mea Moh Coal Burning Plant

    Coal Power on the Rise: Mekong Region Digs In

    02/14/2016

    While initiatives by the Asian Development Bank, ASEAN, United States, Japan, France and the private sector aim to advance renewable energy within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), coal-fired power plants are slated to become an increasingly larger share of the region’s electricity generating portfolio.

  • US State Department Must Renew and Strengthen Reporting Requirements for Companies Investing in Myanmar

    02/11/2016

    EarthRights International (ERI) urged the State Department to renew and strengthen the Reporting Requirements for Responsible Investment in Burma (Myanmar), which require U.S. companies making significant new investment in Myanmar to report on their operations and explain their due diligence policies and procedures on human rights, the environment, corruption, and labor. New investors are also required to provide information on their land acquisitions and disclose payments to the government and contacts with the military and other armed groups. In a submission to the State Department as part of the U.S. Government’s review of the Reporting Requirements, ERI reiterated the importance of ensuring that new U.S. investment in Myanmar does not undermine the reform process.

  • Section 44 to clear way for setting up new Special Economic Zones, and possible new Biomass Power Plant without EIA

    02/11/2016

    General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, leader of the National Council for Peace and Order used authority under section 44 declared 2 NCPO orders on January 20. The first one is on the exception on the enforcement of city plans in some project types 1) power plant 2) power plant gas that do not use natural gas for delivery or disposal 3) factory that improve overall quality of products ( sewage treatment plant/incinerator) 4) factory for sorting and landfill 5) factory for recycling. Another NCPO order was to exclude the application of the city planning and building control laws in the area of special economic development zone. This also includes various local ordinances which are the limitations of the ban on construction, modification, decommissioning, moving and using, or changing the use of buildings.

  • Faces of Dawei, Faces of Change

    02/07/2016

    Dawei is a seaside community of less than 5,000 families, in one of the world’s least developed corners. Myanmar’s ever widening borders, however, have lured investments here on a scale beyond anything ever conceived within Southeast Asia.

    The Dawei Special Economic Zone environs nearly 200 square kilometers of industrial development, a deepsea port and associated road, rail and pipeline links to neighboring Thailand and beyond.

    Photojournalist Taylor Weidman captures the faces of Dawei as they they contemplate what lies ahead. Will their fisheries and betel nut farms still provide viable livelihoods? Will new jobs actually be available to them and their children or largely to higher skilled prospects from abroad? Will environmental controls be sufficient and sufficiently enforcement to protect the community, and the natural resources that now sustain it?

  • Risks loom for Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu Economic Zone

    02/03/2016

    The end of 2015 saw a series of major announcements and decisions regarding Myanmar’s latest special economic zone (SEZ) in Kyaukphyu township of Rakhine State. In late December, Myanmar’s government approved the demarcation of land for the SEZ and awarded tenders to develop the SEZ to a CITIC Group-led consortium.

  • With AIIB, Nation Diversifies Funding Options

    02/02/2016

    Though it’s extremely early days, experts this week welcomed Cambodia’s membership to the nascent China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying it would provide much-needed diversity of funding for the nation’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.

    Launched in Beijing last weekend, the multilateral development bank aims to support infrastructure growth in the Asia-Pacific region through the provision of loans, and supports China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative to boost trade and connectivity across the Eurasian landmass.

  • Is SEZ on Boon Reung forest; destroying Chiang Khong and Mae Kong River?

    01/29/2016

    There is high possibility that the Special Economic Zone will take away more than 1,190 acres of Boon Rueng forest from the community. There is also equally possibility that the Mekong River ecosystem will be destroyed if Boon Rueng forest transform into Special Economic Zone according to Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s vision. The abundant Boon Rueng forest in this wetlands is currently being nominated for SEZ consideration by Joint Public Private Committee, Office of the Permanent Secretary of Interior. If approve, half of the forest will be replaced with factories. According to the survey, there are more than 60 species of plants and 211 species of animal, especially endangered species such as Fishing Cat in Boon Rueng forest. Obviously, Boon Rueng forest is not ‘degraded forest’ as it was claimed.

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