Monday, December 8, 2014

Dawei reboots after Japanese hesitancy

IHS Maritime 360
05 December 2014

THAILAND/MYANMAR: Thailand and Myanmar will reboot the faltering Dawei project early next year, a senior Thai official said.

The move comes amid lingering doubts that are acknowledged to be weighing down the process.

"At the start of January 2015, the Thai and Myanmar government will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to move the Dawei special economic zone [SEZ] forward," Thailand's deputy minister of transport, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, said in a report carried by the Reuters news wire.
Implementation of Dawei is moving slowly, a senior Myanmar official has acknowledged.

Myanmar's minister of national planning and economic development, Kan Zaw, announced that Japan and Thailand - assumed to be the prime investors in the Dawei deep-sea port project in Tenasserim - are hesitating.
"Implementation is taking place on a step-by-step basis as the project area is immense," Kan Zaw said.

The initial phase of the project will be completed within the next year and will be followed up with another three-year phase, he added.
"Potential investors" are hesitating on moving ahead with the SEZ, which is estimated to cost some $50Bn.

Japan recently focused its attention on attracting investment for the Thilawa port and SEZ, situated farther north and closer to Rangoon.
Japan is reportedly worried about being caught between Myanmar and Thailand, one Japanese observer told IHS Maritime.

Myanmar is trying to "pull in" Japan, said the observer, but Tokyo is wary of the need to balance this with Thailand.