Japan invests beyond Southeast Asia FTZs to fully realize Gains

Japan is funding a 2,400 hectare (5,930 acres) special economic zone at Thilawa, the port city 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) south of Yangon. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is providing 34.75 billion yen ($339 million) in official development assistance loans to Myanmar for the development of the SEZ at Thilawa together with supporting port and logistics facilities.

Scheduled to be operational in 2017, the port is forecast to handle 187,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units annually within two years of opening. As well as the SEZ and port, the project includes a modern customs clearance system, hinterland access roads, power, water and telecommunications infrastructure.

The agency recently announced the provision of more than 85,167 yen in new loans for the development of a major deep-sea port at Lach Huyen, near Haiphong in the northeast, together with supporting hinterland road and bridge links.

The agency is also providing a loan for the Da Nang to Quang Ngai section of a major north-south expressway currently under development in the country. The largest city in central Vietnam, Da Nang and the neighboring provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai are a well-developed industrial and export processing zone and Japanese manufacturing companies have also invested heavily in the area. Da Nang is a key distribution point at the east end of the East-West Economic Corridor that runs through Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.