Thai company signs Myanmar port deal

By Manager Online   
5 November 2010 13:02
Thai company signs Myanmar port deal
Mae Sot, -, THAILAND : A Myanmar man carries water over a bridge inside the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border, around 80km from Mae Sot, northwest Thailand on November 4, 2010. Myanmar will hold its first election in 20 years on November 7, but the vote has been criticised by Western nations as a sham because of the exclusion of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI
November 5, 2010
BANGKOK (AFP) - A major Thai construction firm said on Thursday that it had signed an infrastructure deal with Myanmar, in a project that includes building a giant deep sea port in the impoverished nation.
       "We can confirm that the deal was signed this week, but cannot yet disclose any further details," said an Italian-Thai Development (ITD) Plc official.
       The deal, which comes ahead of Myanmar's first election in 20 years, is reportedly worth 240 billion baht (8 billion dollars) and will centre on the port in Dawei on Myanmar's Andaman coastal strip that borders western Thailand.
       According to the Bangkok Post, there will be 22 wharves designed to handle up to 25 vessels with capacities from 20,000 to 50,000 tonnes.
       The 10-year project also includes an industrial estate for heavy industries such as steel and petrochemicals and a 170-kilometre (105 mile) eight-lane road and rail link between Dawei and the Thai border, the report said.
       When the project is completed goods from Thailand will be transported straight to Dawei and shipped to the west.
       The current route involves boats sailing from the Gulf of Thailand around Singapore and the Malacca Straits.
       The Bangkok Post said Thailand was the top investor in Myanmar by mid 2010, with 10.3 billion dollars, followed by China at 6.4 billion dollars.
       Myanmar will on Sunday stage its first election in 20 years, in a vote critics fear will simply give a veneer of legitimacy to the isolated country's military regime.

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