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Burma and Thailand are expected to announce next month the development of the initial phase of the delayed Dawei development project.
Arkhom Termpitayapaisith, the National Economic and Social Development Board secretary-general, said two Thai companies — Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) and Rojana Industrial Park Plc — have proposed developing the road network linking the Thai border with the Dawei project and industrial estate.
Mr Arkhom said Dawei SEZ Development Co, a joint venture between Burma and Thailand, had invited Japan to bid for development of Dawei’s initial phase, but only the two companies approached it.
He said Dawei SEZ Development was considering the companies’ proposals, with the deals expected to be signed after the ASEAN Summit on 12- 13 November in Naypyidaw, the capital of Burma, officially known as Myanmar.
The deals, once officially signed, should help create more confidence among foreign investors that the Dawei project will actually be built, he said.
Mr Arkhom said two new committees to supervise the Dawei project would soon be set up, one of which will be a policy committee chaired by the deputy prime minister, while the other will be a working committee chaired by the permanent secretary of state and relating to ports, roads and industrial estates.
The previous government had set up a three-layered system — policy, high-ranking and coordinating committees — to supervise the project.
The meeting of the policy committee will be held soon to discuss the next step of development.
Thailand and Burma agreed early this month to revitalise the Dawei project by allowing Thai companies to play a bigger role in the much-delayed special economic zone scheme when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha paid an official visit to Myanmar.
The Thai government is keen to press ahead with the long-delayed project and hopes the Japanese government will eventually become a joint developer in Dawei, Mr Arkhom said.
This article was originally published in the Bangkok Post on 24 October 2014.