Sunday, 7 August 2016

Private funding for industrial zone infrastructure?

Yangon Region government is to call on private industry to fund an upgrade of Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone to serve as a pilot project for the nation... “The government wants to upgrade industrial zones in Yangon, starting in Hlaing Tharyar as a pilot project,”... He believes the government intends to put the development plan out to tender, inviting private companies to develop the necessary infrastructure.“
The government wants to get private infrastructure development companies involved rather than funding the project directly,” said U Khin Maung Oo. Last month U Phyo Min Thein said that Yangon was strapped for cash, with a budget of under US$300 million, according to local media reports. Hlaing Tharyar is about 90 percent occupied by industry, compared to the 50pc occupancy rate commonly seen in other zones. But its problems are widely mirrored elsewhere. Industrialists say they cannot afford to build infrastructure. “We do not have enough money to build the necessary roads, drains and electricity,” said one factory owner. “If they want to develop the industrial zones, they will need both domestic and foreign investment... Proposals to invest in Myanmar’s industrial zones will be given priority over other investments, as the country seeks to boost its manufacturing sector and create jobs, the secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission told reporters earlier this week. “Manufacturing is a key sector for job creation, so we will invite more companies to invest in industrial zones,” said U Aung Naing Oo. “We want to build more industrial zones and we aim to supply the infrastructure needed by investors.” There are 19 industrial zones in Myanmar, six of which are under development, he said, adding that his department plans to open vocational training centres in each industrial zone to produce the skilled workers needed by manufacturers... Many factories in South Dagon produce garments, rubber and paper, often from recycled materials. “Many factories are very small and don’t employ many workers or use much electricity,” U Kyaw Aung, a factory owner in Thaketa industrial zone, said, “We would like the government to enact rules and regulations to keep industrial land price speculators from keeping prices artificially high. If this happens, we industrialists can develop the zones ourselves.”

"Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone to be upgraded in pilot project," Myanmar Times, 5 August 2016.

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