ITD in hunt for Dawei funding

Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) has tried its best to "involve" governments from Singapore, Asean and Europe in its capital-intensive Dawei project in eastern Myanmar to acquire financial support from international institutions including the World Bank.

A house built by ITD for relocation of Myanmar villagers. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has repeatedly announced its intention to drive the development of Myanmar including the Dawei project, said Kiwamu Honda, Dawei Development Co's (DDC) senior adviser to the chairman of the board.

"In addition to the Thai and Myanmar governments, we are also talking to Singapore and they want to support us," added Mr Honda.

The World Bank is also keen to support the US$8.6-billion Dawei scheme, but progress has been slowed partly because of sensitive issues surrounding Myanmar's sanctions. By involving European governments, the massive Dawei project hopes to receive funding from international financial institutions, namely the World Bank, Mr Honda said.

"As the economy of the whole region will get a boost [from the Dawei project], Singapore and other countries such as Indonesia will be ready to support us," he said.

So far, Japanese and Korean investors have expressed a keen interest to invest in large-scale industrial projects in the Dawei area, especially the planned integrated steel mill, he said.

Anan Amarapala, ITD vice-president and Dawei project director, said the company is waiting for Myanmar to launch new laws governing special economic zones, which will hopefully take place over the next few months. The new laws will step up tax and investment incentives to help attract potential investors to Dawei.

Big infrastructure projects such as a deep-sea port and four-lane highways are in the detailed design stage, with construction slated to begin in early 2013. All infrastructure is scheduled to be complete by 2015.

U Tin Maung Swe, chairman of Supporting Working Body of DDC and a representative of the Myanmar government in the Dawei Special Economic Zone, insisted the Myanmar government would support the project with tax incentives and villager relocation.

He added the government is not against coal-fired power plants being built in Dawei because new technology eliminates emissions from such facilities.

ITD shares closed yesterday on the SET at 3.38 baht, down 12 satang, in trade worth 59.59 million baht.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Nareerat Wiriyapong
Position: Acting Asia Focus Editor