Foreign Thilawa exceeds US$1 billion

Shoon Lei Win

 Eighty-four international companies have invested more than US$1 billion in zones A and B of Thilawa Special Economic Zone, according to its CEO.

Thilawa covers around 2,400 hectares about 25km south of Yangon between Thanlyin and Kyauktan townships. Myanmar and Japan agreed to cooperate to jointly develop Thilawa in 2012.

Myanmar-Japan Thilawa Development Ltd (MJTD) has permitted investments in Thilawa, prioritised proposals that boosted job opportunities and were eco-friendly.

Yanao Takashi, CEO of the MJTD, said: “Companies from Europe, the US and Asean have been permitted to invest in Thilawa SEZ Zone A and the first phase of the Zone B. The Zone A has accepted proposals from 79 foreign companies. Another five companies invested in Zone B. Their total investment volume exceeded US$1 billion."

Although 79 foreign companies invested in Zone A, vacant land is still available. Zone A opened in 2014 and operations began in September 2015 with 79 companies. Zone B is opening this fiscal year. The first phase of 100 hectares of the Zone B is estimated to be completed in 2018.

There were nearly 5,000 employees working at the Thilawa SEZ with potential to create around 50,000 jobs, Takashi said.

Myanmar's government controls 51 per cent, with 49 per cent held by Tokyo.