Mekong Monitor: Thailand’s PTT Group to develop electricity system for New Yangon City
Photo credit: AFP
TRADE, ECONOMY, AND INVESTMENT
Thailand’s PTT Group to develop electricity system for New Yangon City
(1 September 2019) Thailand’s PTT Group announced on August 30 that it has clinched a deal to develop the electricity production system for Myanmar’s New Yangon City bordering Yangon. The new project area will be built on around 8,000ha of agricultural land on the opposite bank of the river from Yangon and is expected to create two million new jobs. The project is currently waiting for approval from the central government. According to PTT subsidiary Global Power Synergy Co Ltd (GPSC), the company is also eyeing two other projects: a gas to power project to generate electricity in Myanmar using natural gas and a second project that is still under wraps. Ultimately, GPSC aims to build a 5,500 MW power production capacity in the next five years.
Siam GS Battery begins operation of US$10 million Myanmar plant
(2 September 2019) Thailand’s Siam GS Battery announced this week that operations has begun at its US$10 million battery charging plant in Myanmar’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ). According to the company, which is part of the larger Siam Motors Group, Myanmar’s automobile market shows great potential, evidenced by the rise in the number of car registrations from 280,000 in 2011 to 630,000 in 2018. Furthermore, only 20% of the Myanmar market utilises maintenance-free batteries — which the company manufactures — thus presenting much opportunity.
THAILAND, VIETNAM, LAOS
Gulf Energy to expand its presence in Indochina with new power plants
(3 September 2019) Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development Plc announced plans to develop new power plants in Vietnam and Laos to expand its reach in the Indochina region and increase the company’s revenue from infrastructure projects to 20% of total revenue in the next five to seven years. To this end, it has submitted a proposal to the Vietnamese government to develop a gas-fired power plant and is in talks with a Chinese firm to build a hydroelectric power plant in Laos. Both proposals are expected to be finalised in 2020.
Myanmar woos Thai investors in Bangkok
(28 August 2019) Myanmar seeks to promote “responsible, quality investment” as the country transitions to a market-based economy, said state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in a video address delivered at a forum in Bangkok in late August. Among the new opportunities in Myanmar that were highlighted at the event were the new overland goods transportation route through Yangon (Thilawa) – Myawaddy – Mae Sot – Bangkok (Laem Chabang), a new railway linking China’s Yunnan and Myanmar’s Muse, as well as ample opportunities available in Myanmar’s many special economic zones. Thailand’s investments into Myanmar reached US$6.6 billion in the fiscal year 2018-19, with half being in the oil and gas industry.
CAMBODIA, LAOS, VIETNAM
CLV countries formulate tourism development plan
(28 August 2019) Tourism officials from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are in talks over the development of a joint tourism plan for the CLV Development Triangle Area, according to a local news outlet. The aim, according to the report, is to turn the area into a sustainable tourism destination while improving the living conditions of citizens in the area. More specifically, the plan will link landmark sites in these areas and promote them as a single tourist package and destination. The triangle area comprises 13 provinces in all three countries combined.
About Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Programme was launched by the Asian Development Bank in 1992 connecting five developing ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. The region has some of the most robust economies sharing the Mekong River Basin thanks to its reform and liberalisation. The subregion is growing at a faster pace than the whole of East Asia and the Asia Pacific as the GDP growth rate for 2017 was at 6.4 percent, according to the World Bank. The population at the subregion as of 2016 is at 340 million while the GDP at PPP is at US$3.1 trillion in 2016. In 2015, trading within the region was at US$444 billion.