ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
New development for Thai industries
Somhatai Panichewa, the company's chief business officer, said Amata and Italian-Thai Development Plc, over the past two years had jointly conducted a feasibility study to create a 100,000-rai industrial estate, out of a total of 170,000 rai at the Dawei site, with an investment of around US$9-10 billion.
The study will be completed within six to nine months, depending on the political situation in Burma.
"The company is quite concerned over political tension on the border though the Burmese government maintains it is safe and under control," she said, referring to skirmishes with Karen rebels last week.
However, she is optimistic that political conditions in Burma will improve after the election, while more investment is expected when the industrial estate is completed in four years.
The company is now awaiting details on criteria for the Dawei economic zone from the Rangoon government. Competitive incentives will become a significant factor to attract foreign investors to locate plants there, she said.
Ms. Somhatai said Burma was the best solution for the development of heavy and upstream industries. Those projects cannot invest in Thailand anymore due to environmental concerns. However, Thailand needs upstream industry for steel and petrochemicals because they are raw materials for the next step of industrial development.
Thailand aims to attract more investments in high-technology and light industries that need raw materials from the petrochemical industry.
A 160-kilometre road from Dawei to the border in Kanchanaburi is expected to open in two years. The total distance is 370 kilometers from Dawei to Amata's main base in Rayong.
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