Monday, July 24, 2017

Osaka business group leases Thilawa for SMEs

On May 11, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD), the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) to establish a small rental factory area in Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

According to the MoU, the area will be 500-750 square metres and will target small and medium-size enterprises (SME), Japanese and non-Japanese, to launch their operations in Myanmar.

“The idea was first discussed when the OCCI visited Yangon last year in November,” the Osaka chamber told the Myanmar Times.

Zone A of the SEZ is 95 percent occupied and the chamber is confident in the market prospect of Zone B for international investors.

In order to complement the development of the first zone, the MJTD initiated Phase I of the second zone, encompassing 101 hectares out of 2000 hectares of the entire zone in early March.

The press release from the OCCI also stated that the latest move to establish a small-scale rental factory area adds diversity to the tenant base and extends Thilawa SEZ’s advantage as Myanmar’s leading special economic zone.

“We are pleased that the MoU provides the flexibility that will benefit all small and medium firms. Attracting and encouraging them is important for the development and diversification of the Myanmar economy,” said Takashi Yanai, president of MJTD.

The total investment in the SEZ has exceeded US$1 billion and this MoU is expected to further boost Thilawa SEZ’s contribution to Myanmar’s economy, the press release added.

“Indeed, many interested parties have asked for flexibility in the amount of space they could lease in Thilawa SEZ,” Mr Yanai said.

It is estimated that the effort to attract more SMEs from overseas, as well as further development of Zone B, could bring in approximately 40,000 jobs to the SEZ.

Both the OCCI and the UMFCCI will be pro-active in encouraging investments in Thilawa SEZ. The OCCI organised a seminar in Japan last month on the opportunities offered by expanding into Myanmar, as well as promoting the use of small-scale rental factory land plots to its members.