(Narinjara, 10 June 2014)
A proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the village of Sit Taw and Si Maw villages of Kyauk Pru in Arakan State may be shifted to another location as the authority has discovered a mud volcano there, said U Aung Kyaw Than, a senior official of the SEZ in Burma.
“The advisory group of SEZ International, which was invited by the government, suggested about the shifting of the SEZ and the authority is actively considering for a safer and news location,” he added.
The new location might be somewhere near Kani under Kyauk Pru township, which is nearer to the Bay of Bengal. The local people identify the new location as Kani which has the potentiality for constructing a deep sea port there.
The government earlier planned to set up the economic zone in the original place of Sit Taw and Si Maw villages with 120 sq km area which would be a reward for the Arakanese people.
“Though a mud volcano can create no trouble that would affect the activities of SEZ, but many foreign company officials may object to it and avoid investing in that location. We need foreign investments for business prosperities. So we decide to leave from the origin location,” argued the SEZ official.
Though the ESZ is initiated and managed by the government, its operation might be handled by the foreign companies belonged to China and Japan.
At this moment no comprehensive project plans are available with the government, but it is understood that the US$109 billion project would include China’s CITIC group, Japan’s Nippon Koei and Burma’s Htoo Trading etc.
The project also includes an 800 km railway and roadway from Arakan to Yunnan province of China. Beijing is expected to construct the railway track and operate it for 50 years to hand over later to the Burmese government at NayPyiDaw.