Myanmar wants to scale down the size of its deep-sea port and industrial estate in Dawei, but Thailand fears a decrease could affect the feasibility of related projects.
Thailand is Myanmar’s investment partner in the enterprise.

Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt said yesterday Myanmar had revealed during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s trip to Dawei on Monday that it wanted to reduce the size of the deep-sea port and the industrial estate from 204.5 sq km to 150 sq km.

A reduction in scale would affect Italian-Thai Development Plc, which is a major contractor in the project.

The minister said Thailand has not yet responded to Myanmar’s proposal, as it will first study all possible impacts which the change could cause since a smaller area may affect certain aspects of the project as a whole.

During the prime minister’s visit, Myanmar President Thein Sein stated clearly that he would invite overseas investors, especially from Japan, to Dawei, he said.

The minister said this move would greatly benefit projects in Dawei because Japan had sources of long-term loans and had a good track record in investing in infrastructure projects such as ports and roads.

Mr Chadchat said development projects in Myanmar and Thailand related to the growth of Dawei are worth more than 270 billion baht.

In Thailand, there are road and railway projects that are worth approximately 75 billion baht.

These included an inter-city motorway worth 45 billion baht from Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi province to Kanchanaburi province, and an adjoining motorway worth 10 billion baht from Kanchanaburi to Ban Nam Phu Ron village on the Thai-Myanmar border, Mr Chadchat said.

In addition there is also a rail link worth 20 billion baht that will stretch from the Thai-Myanmar border to the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand.

Mr Chadchat said the motorway section from Kanchanaburi to Ban Nam Phu Ron would depend on the final details of the Dawei project, which have yet to be confirmed.