Thilawa factories fire up
Close to one-third of the factories that receive permits to operate in the Thilawa special economic zone have started production.
TWENTY of the 68 factories that have signed up to the first phase of Thilawa Special Economic Zone are now up and running, officials say.
U Than Than Thwe, joint secretary of the Thilawa SEZ Management Committee, said that 68 companies from 17 countries had received permits to invest in the project. On November 8, CJ Foods, a Korean company, staged an opening ceremony in its compound in the SEZ, as the 20th factory to start operations.
“As all factories are still at an early stage of production, it’s too early to say how much they are producing,” said U Than Than Thwe.
The 68 companies have already invested a total of US$880 million so far, announced Myanmar-Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD).
They include producers of construction materials, including steel and cement, agricultural machinery and chemical fertilisers, vehicles and parts, medicines and medical equipment, and others.
Myanmar is establishing new industrial zones to improve industrial production and boost exports and is encouraging investors interested in commodity production.
In addition to the initial zone of 400 hectares in extent, work is going ahead to open the first 101-ha segment of the 2000 hectare Zone B in the coming months. In October, the government signed an agreement with Myanmar-Japan Thilawa Development to kick off the process.
One of the factories already operating is Ball, an American company that makes containers for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.