Japan, Thailand and Myanmar to jointly develop controversial Dawei Port

Japan, Thailand and Myanmar have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to construct the controversial Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar as part of the “New Tokyo Strategy 2015 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation” that was adopted during the Seventh Mekong-Japan Summit on July 4.

Thailand and Myanmar had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the Dawei Special Economic Zone in 2008, followed by another MOU in 2012.

As part of the MoU, Myanmar gave Italian-Thai Development PCL (ITD) a 75-year concession in 2008 to undertake the project, and attract investment. The project should have been completed by 2015, but was suspended due to paucity of funds. ITD lost the 75-year concession in 2013, and the governments of Thailand and Myanmar then took a 50% stake each in the project.

On 30th of January 2015, Japan agreed to participate in the project. It was announced that it will have equal partnership status with Thailand and Burma in the Dawei Special Economic Zone Development Co, and provide technical and financial support for the project.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Development will include a deep-sea port with a capacity to hold 250 million tons of cargo, and an economic zone covering some 200 square kilometers.

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