Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said her government was committed to seeing “concrete progress” in the development of the $8.6 billion Dawei port and industrial zone in neighboring Myanmar.
Thailand and Myanmar agreed to hold ministerial-level meetings starting next month to push forward with the project, Yingluck told reporters in a joint briefing with Myanmar President Thein Sein today in Bangkok.
Developer Italian-Thai Development Pcl (ITD) has found it difficult to secure funds for the project at Dawei, which sits about 350 kilometers (219 miles) west of Bangkok. The company is courting Japan to secure $12.5 billion in loan agreements this year to build the port, roads, power plants and a railway, Chairman Premchai Karnasuta said on Dec. 26.
Thein Sein arrived yesterday for a three-day trip and visited Laem Chabang port, near Thailand’s biggest industrial zone that companies such as Ford Motor Co. (F) (F) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) use as a production base. Thailand and Myanmar plan to link Laem Chabang with Dawei, and may open three more permanent checkpoints on their shared border, Yingluck said.