Govt pri­ori­tises more for­eign in­vest­ment in Aye­yarwady

In­vestors seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Myan­mar may want to con­sider Aye­yarwady Re­gion, where the gov­ern­ment is pri­ori­tis­ing de­vel­op­ment in a broad range of sec­tors, its chief min­is­ter says.

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - HTIN LYNN AUNG htin­lyn­[email protected]­times.com

IN­VESTORS eye­ing ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties in Myan­mar might want to con­sider Aye­yarwady Re­gion, where the gov­ern­ment is now pri­ori­tis­ing de­vel­op­ments in the agriculture, live­stock and marine, forestry, in­dus­try, in­fras­truc­ture, trans­porta­tion and tourism sec­tors, said re­gional chief min­is­ter U Hla Myo Aung.

“Al­though much of the coun­try’s ex­ports orig­i­nate in Aye­yarwady, for­eign in­vest­ments in the re­gion are cur­rently min­i­mal. How­ever, we can ex­pect that to rise in the com­ing years af­ter a new road con­nect­ing Aye­yarwady with Yan­gon is com­plete and a pro­ject that will ful­fill Myan­mar’s elec­tric­ity needs com­mences con­struc­tion in this re­gion,” said U Aung Naing Oo, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Direc­torate of In­vest­ment and Com­pany Ad­min­is­tra­tion (DICA).

The of­fi­cials were speak­ing at the Aye­yarwady Re­gion In­vest­ment Fair 2018 held on Novem­ber 30.

Mean­while, the Aye­yarwady Re­gion gov­ern­ment is co­op­er­at­ing with Rakhine State and the Min­istry of Con­struc­tion to de­velop the Aye­yarwady west coast, which will con­nect the Goyangyi, Ngwe Saung, Chaung Thar, Shwe Thaung Yan, Ma Gyi Sin and Kyauk Chun ar­eas to the Gwa and Thandwe ar­eas in Rakhine State.

The west coast of Aye­yard­wady is also linked to the China-myan­mar Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor and Greater-mekhong Subre­gion Pro­ject.

When com­plete, there will be op­por­tu­ni­ties for for­eign in­vestors to con­trib­ute to de­vel­op­ing in­fras­truc­ture such as sea ports, heavy in­dus­trial zones, fac­to­ries, power trans­mis­sion lines, high­ways and rail­ways along the west coast, said U Htay Win, re­gional plan­ning and fi­nance min­is­ter of Ayeyawady Re­gion.

Plans are now be­ing made for the con­struc­tion of a liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) plant pro­ject which will gen­er­ate 1390MW of power when com­plete. The $2 bil­lion LNG pro­ject is be­ing car­ried out by a con­sor­tium com­pris­ing Zhefu Group of Com­pa­nies from Hong Kong, Gun­ver Group of Com­pa­nies from Switzer­land and Supreme Group of Com­pa­nies from Myan­mar.

Con­struc­tion will com­mence af­ter a power pur­chase agree­ment be­tween the con­sor­tium and the Min­istry of Elec­tric­ity and En­ergy is inked be­fore May 2019, said U Aung Kyaw Min, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Supreme Group.

“The coastal ar­eas of Aye­yarwady have an elec­tric­ity prob­lem. So, we are aim­ing to sell the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated to the gov­ern­ment so that it can be re­dis­tributed to the area. The pro­ject will be fin­ished in 2020 and peo­ple will get elec­tric­ity in 2021,” he said.

“In ad­di­tion to sup­ply­ing elec­tric­ity to Aye­yarwady Re­gion, this pro­ject will also pro­vide ex­tra elec­tric­ity to Hlaing Thar­yar in Yan­gon Re­gion,” said U Aung Kyaw Min.

Mean­while, six in­dus­trial zone projects are un­der im­ple­men­ta­tion in the west coast of Aye­yarwady.

A deep sea port in Pathein, be­tween Ngwe Saung beach and Chaung Thar beach near Nga Yoke Kaung vil­lage, is also be­ing im­ple­mented. The port, which is worth US$5.5 bil­lion, is be­ing de­vel­oped by Thai­land’s Amera Asia Com­pany and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2025. The port will also in­clude three in­dus­trial zones and four 700-megawatt power plants. Tax ben­e­fits To draw more in­vest­ments, the Myan­mar In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion (MIC) has ear­marked 10 town­ships in Aye­yarwady Re­gion as un­de­vel­oped ar­eas. Un­der the law, in­vestors will be granted up to seven years tax ex­emp­tion when car­ry­ing out projects in th­ese ar­eas.

“As there are many planned projects, we ex­pect a lot of lo­cal and for­eign in­vest­ments will en­ter,” said U Htay Win, re­gional min­is­ter for plan­ning and fi­nance.

An­other 17 town­ships, in­clud­ing Pathein have been de­fined as moder­ately-de­vel­oped ar­eas, in which tax ex­emp­tions of up to five years will be granted.

Since April 1, 2016, a to­tal of K 49 bil­lion worth of in­vest­ments have been per­mit­ted by the re­gional gov­ern­ment while US$ 59 mil­lion and K 198 bil­lion were ap­proved by the MIC.

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