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Business

Myanmar industrial park set to grow

Myanmar's Thilawa industrial park houses dozens of Japanese multinationals, including speaker maker Foster Electric.

YANGON -- Myanmar's first modern industrial park, developed in partnership with Japan, is due for a roughly 30% expansion as early as 2018.

Building out the Thilawa industrial park is estimated to cost around 5 billion yen ($48.1 million). Opened in September 2015, the park is now 90% under contract.

Construction of the park kicked off in 2013 after a Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Marubeni joint venture teamed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, a development consortium of nine Myanmar corporations and the Myanmar government. The four parties will ink an expansion agreement on Friday.

The partners will add about 100 hectares adjacent to the existing complex measuring roughly 400 hectares. The construction time frame will be finalized after Myanmar authorities finish acquiring the land and relocating residents.

The park has electrical and water supplies. The area is designated a special economic zone, affording tax incentives. Some 80 companies from 17 countries and jurisdictions have decided to set up shop. Half are Japanese. More than 10, including textile and autoparts makers, have started up operations at the park.

The newly elected civilian government headed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi is devoting resources to attracting manufacturing jobs to the nation. The Thilawa expansion represents a key nexus of that push.

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