Italian-Thai insists it can handle Dawei, has the experience

Construction News Myanmar

The SET-listed Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), the country’s largest construction company, has reaffirmed its ability to handle a 150,000-rai industrial estate in Dawei, brushing aside Myanmar’s doubts about the project’s viability.

Nonetheless, strategic partners are needed to jointly develop the large-scale project, said Dawei Development Co (DDC), a company the Thai contractor set up to operate the project in Myanmar.

“ITD has profound experience in developing industrial estates and special economic zones including Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and deep-sea ports in Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang,” said Somchet Thinaphong, DDC’s managing director.

“ITD, one of the largest construction firms in Southeast Asia, has the knowledge and full understanding about Dawei to be able to proceed with the project,” he told the Bangkok Post.

Dr Somchet’s remarks came in response to reports quoting Ko Ko Hlaing, an adviser to President Thein Sein, in which he questioned ITD’s ability to oversee the multi-billion-dollar industrial zone on Myanmar’s eastern coast.

ITD executives have little experience in developing a big economic zone, Ko Ko Hlaing told Bloomberg.

“We need other big investors. Absolutely we need investment partners, and ITD has welcomed partners from all over the world to make each part of this project a success,” said Dr Somchet, a former governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.

ITD president Premchai Karnasuta last week said his company will conclude financing of Dawei this year for projects such as the US$2.5-billion deep-sea port and $1 billion for roads.

Japan agreed during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit last month to grant loans to Myanmar’s Dawei and Thilawa industrial estates.

Japan, Thailand and Myanmar have also agreed to form a three-country organisation to back Dawei and push the project forward, Mr Premchai said.

Dr Somchet welcomed Japan’s support for the Thilawa project. The estate near Yangon is critical to the supply chain for industrial projects in Dawei.

The Japanese government will conduct a feasibility study of the 13,000-rai Thilawa estate, built by a Singaporean developer before the 1997 financial crisis.

Craig Steffensen, the Asian Development Bank’s Thailand country director, earlier said the bank had talked to ITD but wanted to see a clearer development plan before getting involved.

ITD shares closed yesterday on the SET at 3.66 baht, down 4 satang, in trade worth 67.4 million baht.


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