Agrees with Myanmar president on urgency
NEW YORK CITY : Leaders of Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to speed up the Dawei deep-sea port project in eastern Myanmar, planning to announce their development plan in November through the three-level mechanism.
The confirmation came after talks between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Myanmar President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Both sides agreed to move forward with the Dawei project, as Myanmar would like to see the three-level mechanism continue its work through meetings, said a source who asked not to be named.
Italian-Thai Development Plc, Thailand's biggest contractor, has been granted a concession from the Myanmar government to develop the special economic zone and deep-sea port in Dawei.
The three-level mechanism includes a joint high-level committee chaired by Myanmar's deputy president and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
The coordinating committee is headed by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, while six subcommittees on infrastructure, industrial estates, energy, community development, finance and rule of law are headed by related ministers in each country.
Thailand and Myanmar will announce the project development plan during November's Asean Summit in Cambodia. The Thai government will host the first meeting soon, said the source.
Other issues to be worked out during the meeting include Thailand's interest in cooperating with Myanmar to develop a special economic zone at Thilawa Port in Yangon, the source added.
Japan has formed a consortium with Myanmar to develop the area, and the Thai private sector would like to invest in the port.
The source mentioned Bangkok and Yangon will set up a working group to join hands to develop the special economic zones. Details will be discussed by the Thai industry minister, who will travel to Myanmar soon.
In addition, Thailand will grant financial aid to Myanmar to build 76 kilometres of road from Tak's Mae Sot district on the Thai side to Mywaddy-Kawkareik in Myanmar under the aegis of Thailand's Rural Roads Department.
The Thai government will consider supporting road construction from Kawkareik to Maylamyine, linking roads from Thailand to India through Myanmar.
Addressing the Asia Society in New York, Ms Yingluck said Myanmar is proceeding towards democracy and has Thailand's support.
The prime minister said Myanmar needs support for projects that help improve the country's economic growth and quality of life.
She said the Thai government will also work closely with Myanmar to tackle refugee problems.
On the South China Sea issue, the premier said Thailand, as a coordinator between Asean and China, would like to see the maritime route safe for transport, with related agencies tackling the problem through peaceful means.