Myanmar's new SEZ program was launched to further its economic reforms, which expanded foreign investment, export-oriented production, and job creation. From May-June 2012, Locus Economica assisted these efforts by helping draft a new SEZ law for the government as part of the International Finance Corporation's South Asia Enterprises Development Facility.
The SEZ program should help address infrastructure deficiencies and improve business regulatory procedures - two major constraints on the business climate in Myanmar. The SEZs are especially poised to capture investment in low-skilled industries relocating from Thailand, Vietnam, and China, where labor costs are rising. Perhaps more importantly, the SEZ program is helping pilot necessary structural reforms, which should help pave the way for broader, nationwide reforms.
In 2014, the new SEZ Law was approved. Four SEZs have been identified: Thilawa, Kyaukpyu, Dawei, and Sittwe. Additional SEZs may be developed along the proposed East-West Economic Corridor, which will connect Danang (Vietnam) to the deep port of Mawlamyine. Read more about the law in this KPMG Tax Report.