Foster economic growth: Kyaukpyu SEZ bridges Myanmar and China

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Special Economic Zones (SEZs) stand as pivotal catalysts for a nation’s economic development, providing businesspersons with the autonomy to operate under specialized laws distinct from the standard regulations. These zones encompass various sectors, including free trade, exports, industry, ports, and urban development, ultimately aiming to attract foreign investments.
Myanmar, recognizing its significance, has embarked on three SEZ projects in Thilawa of Yangon Region, Dawei of Tanintharyi Region, and Kyaukpyu of Rakhine State, with Thilawa emerging as the most successful thus far.
The Kyaukpyu SEZ, a joint venture between Myanmar and China, recently took a significant stride in advancing its deep seaport project. In November 2020, the Kyaukpyu SEZ Management Committee and Kyaukpyu SEZ Deep Seaport Co Ltd signed the Concession Agreement. On 26 December 2023, the chairman of the Kyaukpyu SEZ Management Committee and the official representative of the Project Company inked the Addendum, as part of expediting the project’s implementation. This deep seaport project is poised to attract substantial foreign investments, contributing significantly to Myanmar’s economic development.
The Kyaukpyu SEZ is anticipated to elevate living standards in Rakhine State, generating employment opportunities and strengthening economic and trade ties between Myanmar and China. The project will be executed with a 30 per cent ownership stake by Myanmar and 70 per cent by China. Notably, the deep seaport, equipped with 10 jetties capable of handling seven million 20-foot containers annually, is set to become Myanmar’s first international-level deep seaport. This strategic gateway is expected to connect Myanmar with Asia, Africa, and Europe, positioning it as a crucial player in global trade.
The economic benefits of the Kyaukpyu SEZ extend beyond foreign investments, encompassing tax revenue generation for the government and contributing to environmental conservation. With 85 per cent progress in environmental and social impact assessments, the project demonstrates a commitment to responsible development. Additionally, the integration of an industrial park within the SEZ framework promises direct advantages for residents.
The collaboration between Myanmar and China in developing the Kyaukpyu SEZ marks a significant stride toward economic growth for both nations. Furthermore, it positions the project as a potential business hub, fostering collaboration among countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The success of the Kyaukpyu SEZ is not just a bilateral achievement, and it stands as a testament to the cooperative efforts driving socioeconomic development for the people of Myanmar and China.

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