Overview of Dawei SEZ

1. Development of SEZs

The development of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Myanmar is governed by the Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law of 2014.

Under this Law, a Special Economic Zone is defined as the "zone notified and established by the Central Body as the Special Economic Zone by demarcating the boundary and issuing the notification under this Law", whereby the Central Body is a body formed by the Union Government.

There are currently three SEZs established in Myanmar:

  • Thilawa SEZ
  • Dawei SEZ
  • Kyauk Phyu SEZ

The Thilawa SEZ comprises of industries such as high-tech, textile, manufacturing, and logistics services. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on May 2013 between 9 Myanmar public companies and a Japanese consortium of Mitsubishi, Marubeni and Sumitomo. It has become commercially operational since September 2015.

[1] In February 2017, the expansion of Thilawa SEZ was launched. The construction of the 101-hectare Zone B, is located south of the currently operational 405-hectare Zone A.[2] The Dawei SEZ project has been separated into an initial phase (up to 30 sq. km) and a full phase (196.5 sq. km). The concession agreements for the initial phase infrastructure projects (including an industrial estate and supporting infrastructure such as small power plant, small port, LNG terminal etc.) were granted on August 2015 and March 2016 to a consortium led by Italian-Thai Development Company.  The concessionaires and the Myanmar government are currently fulfilling their obligations (conditions precedent) prior to the commencement of construction works. DSEZ Full Phase development will be initiative in parallel with the initial phase.

2. Location of Dawei SEZ

Dawei SEZ is located in Tanintharyi Region of Myanmar, adjacent to the Andaman Sea and near the Gulf of Thailand.  Dawei city is the capital city of Taninthayi Region. Taninthayi Region occupies the southern part of Myanmar and borders Mon State in the north, Thailand in the east and south and Andaman sea in the west.  Taninthayi Region has an area of 26777 square kilometers and a population of 1.40 million. Dawei SEZ has an area of 196 square kilometres.

Dawei SEZ, local and regional integration is one of the pillars of the Dawei SEZ master plan. For example, fish processing factories are expected to be attracted to Dawei SEZ, leveraging the potential of aquaculture in Southern Myanmar. Also, Dawei SEZ can play a role in terms of regional integration across ASEAN.   Dawei SEZ will complete the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Southern Economic Corridor and establishes regional connectivity and land bridge between Dawei, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh.

Dawei SEZ would also strengthen supply chain linkage with Thailand's Eastern Seaboard (ESB), providing opportunities for co-manufacturing linkages with the ESB and inducing the economic activities along the corridor.  Dawei SEZ also provides a gateway to the west (India, Middle East, Africa, Europe) for the region.

3. Key Drive to attract the Investor

The long-term master plan is built on the strengths of Dawei SEZ. After analysis and many interviews and workshops with potential investors, we are convinced that investors will be attracted to Dawei SEZ of the following reasons.First, its close proximity to the Eastern Seaboard and its completion of the GMS southern economic corridor. Once the deep sea port will be in place, Dawei SEZ will also provide a gateway to the west. Dawei SEZ also offers supply of local resources in Tanintharyi region and surrounding areas, including tin and tungsten and aquaculture.Dawei SEZ also offers competitive labor costs, hence its attractiveness for labor-intensive industries. Investors will also enjoy the benefit from the SEZ legal framework, which includes tax exemptions. Finally, exporters will have a significant advantage in exporting from Myanmar, given import duty exemptions in major potential export markets such as the European Union.


[1] Thiwala SEZ Official Website

[2] The Republic of the Union of Myanmar President Office, accessed at http://www.president-office.gov.mm/en/?q=briefing-room/news/2017/02/27/i...