Highway linking Myanmar, Thailand will speed up Dawei SEZ

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  • With the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s legislative permission to procure a 4.5 billion Thai baht loan from Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) of Thailand, the Dawei Special Economic Zone project will now gain speed in its implementation.
    The NEDA offers government-to-government loans with low interest rates.
    As per the loan terms, the Ministry of Construction is responsible to implement the two-lane road work and the Dawei Special Economic Zone management committee will systematically amend the concession agreement signed with the Italian-Thai Company Group and re-sign it with the Ministry of Construction.
    The highway linking Myanmar and Thailand is part of the original project started in 2008, which also includes developing a port, industrial zones, office buildings, residential buildings and other infrastructure. However, the project never took off due to the large scale of the project.
    With the Ministry of Construction taking over the responsibility of constructing this road, it will be a government-owned road that the public can use at a fair rate.
    The road project will support the development of other projects and related regions, Dawei Special Economic Zone, Taninthayi Region, the country’s economy and the image of the government.
    NEDA was an organisation operating under the Ministry of Finance of Thailand, which cooperates in financial matters with neighbouring countries. The loan period is for a total of 30 years, of which 10 years is the grace period. The repayment period is 20 years.
    The interest per annum is 0.1 per cent, while the interest must be paid twice a year, totalling 60 times. The principal has to be repaid twice a year, totalling 40 times. Fifty per cent of the loan is to be spent on services and products from Thailand.
    The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee, which was formed in October 2016 with members of the Special Economic Zone Central management Committee and foreign experts, convened in August 2015 and March 2016 and agreed to allow Italian-Thai Plc. and other related companies to begin working on the area for a deep sea port. The deep sea port measures 27 square kilometers, while the total project area is 196 square kilometers.
    The highway that is part of the project would link Dawei with Bangkok and the Greater Mekong Subregion, while the deep-sea port would link Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam with India, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, significantly shortening transportation time and eliminating the need to navigate around Singapore through the Malacca Straits.
    The Dawei SEZ project is expected to bring thousands of jobs along the Myanmar -Thailand border.
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