Property and land prices in Dawei, also known as Tavoy, in southernmost Burma have sky-rocketing to hundreds of millions of kyat due to the development of the nearby Thai-backed deep-sea port project, claim local businessmen.
Real estate prices are highest around Ar Zar Ni Road, in downtown Dawei, where most private banks have opened branch offices. A businessman in Dawei said, “The prices go up because more commercial companies want to open branch offices and hotels in Dawei.”
According to local people, even land measuring just 40 by 60 feet can costs 200-300 million kyat. And despite the sky-rocketing prices, businesspeople have been clamoring to acquire land and property. Max Myanmar Company reportedly just purchased real estate in downtown Dawei for hundreds of millions of kyat.
Prices increased when the deep-sea port project began as speculators tried to make a quick profit, but these later came down and stablised.
“Then after Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo’s visit, prices went up again,” said a Dawei resident.
Tin Aung Myint Oo visited the Dawei project last month to oversee proposed renovations to the airport and continued construction work.
A property agent from Dawei said that land near the airport is also interesting buyers. He added that there will be more high prices in Dawei because of plans to expand the airport and deep-sea port.
The Italian-Thai Development Company originally invested in the Dawei deep-sea port project and now Japan and other Asian countries are conducting studies to determine whether to get onboard.
More than a thousand engineers and labors from Thailand and Burma are also working on road construction projects.
The Dawei deep-sea port project has courted controversy with campaigners worried about the adverse affect to the environment and forced relocation of local villages.
Some 4,000 megawatts of electrical power is required to run the industrial zone, which includes a coal facility that experts say will severely impact the livelihoods of local people.
The Burmese and Thai governments signed a contract in May 2008 to begin construction on the Technical Zone in Dawei deep-sea port.
The project is eight times bigger than the Map Ta Phut Industrial Zone in Rayong, Thailand, according to the Foundation for Ecological Recovery.
Map Ta Phut is estimated to have cost some 370 billion baht (US $10.5 billion) while the Dawei project is estimated at around 303 billion baht ($8.6 billion).
Dawei would become Burma’s first Special Economic Zone, which includes plans to develop a 250 square-kilometre industrial estate with sea and land links to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as a gas pipeline to Thailand through Kanchanaburi Province