Myanmar's Dawei Special Economic Zone

I have been inspecting Dawei in southern Myanmar where Japanese officials appear to have kick-started long-standing plans to build a deep-sea port and industrial park. The project is of strategic importance as Dawei lies just 250 kilometers west of Bangkok and would provide Thailand direct access to the Bay of Bengal and avoid the Strait of Malacca. The initial project collapsed several years ago due to a lack of funds and there is little at the site other than a graded road and management offices. The 90 kilometer drive to the Thai border also took five hours by dirt road and will need significant investment. Still, Japanese officials held meetings with the local development agency several weeks ago and are apparently drawing up technical plans. And that makes Dawei an interesting long-term strategic play.

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