Thai firm to develop $1bn industrial smart city in Yangon

Myanmar’s construction ministry has signed a deal with Thai developer Amata Asia to build a $1bn "smart city" in northeastern Yangon.

The ministry signed a joint-venture with Bangkok-based Amata on Friday, 24 January, for a 2,000 acre project, to be called the Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City (YASEC). Amata is to own 80% of the shares in the development, and will receive a 50-year lease on the land, with the option of a 20 year extension.

Yasuo Tsutsui, the managing director of YASEC, said: "The agreement means strengthening economic stability, reducing poverty, human resources and social development. YASEC will create more than 33,000 job opportunities."

He added that Amata would ensure the project’s sustainability by incorporating green principles and proper urban design. A masterplan is presently being devised by Singaporean architect Surbana, which is also developing an integrated urban project the "New Mandalay Resort City", located on the outskirts of Pyin Oo Lwin township in eastern Mandalay.

Vikrom Kromadit, chairman of Amata Corporation, said at a signing ceremony that the project would bring advanced technology and quality investors to Myanmar while ensuring environment protection for the local communities. "We will take on a grand project, unforgettable in the history of your country. We will make sure that Yangon becomes one of the best future cities in Myanmar," he said.

The idea for YASEC was proposed by Amata in early 2017, after which a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment were carried out. The Myanmar Investment Commission granted a permit to build two years later, in October 2019.

Amata also signed memorandums of understanding with five partners to provide natural gas, telecoms, electricity, cement and training services.

Amata is an industrial conglomerate with a track record of developing industrial estates in Thailand and Vietnam. As well as buildings and infrastructure, Amata will provide logistics, transport and other services.

The smart city will be built at Laydaungkan village, located between South Dagon and East Dagon townships on the northeastern outskirts of Yangon. The work will begin with a power station and a water treatment plant, with the first factory ready to go into production by the third quarter of 2021.

Image: Vikrom Kromadit (left) at the signing ceremony in Yangon (Photo courtesy of Yangon Region Government)

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