The signing of a contract on the Dawei development project has been delayed while Myanmar awaits details of the joint development plan from Thailand. Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), said the development project is behind schedule by seven or eight months.

Dawei Development Co (DDC), a subsidiary of ITD, was earlier scheduled to sign the contract with Myanmar in August. So far, the contract has not yet been signed as the Myanmar government wanted to see details of the joint development plan for the the Dawei special economic zone and related projects in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed by Thailand and Myanmar, Mr Premchai said.

Details of the joint development plan are expected in February next year.

More than 100 investors have shown an interest in setting up factories in the Dawei industrial project, Mr Premchai said, adding the project developer would open all six phases at the same time to serve more factories.

The first phase would be textile companies; electronics companies would be in the second phase; businesses making rubber products in the third, furniture and rubber wood companies in the fourth, frozen and canned food products in the fifth; and leather firms in the sixth, the ITD president said.

The textile companies expect to benefit from operating in the Dawei industrial estate as Myanmar will be awarded Generalised System of Preferences privileges for exports to Europe, the US and Japan next year, he said.

ITD will start selling locations in the industrial estate over the next one or two months. The company will accelerate its construction work and will be ready to provide electricity and utility supplies early next year.

The Dawei industrial estate, covering some 25,000 rai, requires investment of some 4-5 billion baht, while the Dawei deep-sea port development project needs about 100 billion baht.