Thilawa factories to create 5,000 jobs

Six factories now under construction in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will create as many as 5,000 jobs, according to Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH).

The factories are expected to be completed within six months, with some operational by the end of this year, MTSH says. All the factories are to be operational within 18 months.

"The six factories will create four or five thousand jobs," MTSH managing director Thein Han said."If the factories export 75 per cent of their production, it will be a free zone. If they distribute 50 per cent of their products to the local market, it will be a promotion zone."

It is too early to tell how the percentages will break down, he added.

Foreign companies such as Ball Corporation, Foster Electric and Sugar Glose are building factories in the zone, and 63 foreign companies from countries including the US and Japan have sent letters of interest for investment in the first phase of the Thilawa SEZ.

Also, 28 domestic and foreign companies have already signed agreements to invest in the phase, which will see new factories producing steel and aluminum products, construction material, electrical appliances and garments.

The Thilawa SEZ project is a joint venture undertaken by the Myanmar and Japanese governments along with a consortium of Japanese companies. The Myanmar side owns 51 per cent and the Japanese side the rest.