State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday received Mr Kim Hyun-chong, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea in Nay Pyi Taw, according to state-owned media.
During their meeting, the leaders agreed to enhance existing bilateral economic relations by promoting trade and investment as well as sharing technology. South Korea is also welcome to establish new industrial zones in Myanmar.
Mr Kim also met with Minister of Commerce Dr Than Myint in Nay Pyi Taw. The ministers discussed establishing an industrial zone for Korean companies to draw further foreign direct investments into Myanmar.
The focus of the Myanmar-Korea industrial zone will be to set up an automotive hub to manufacture and assemble Korean vehicles for export purposes, said U Yan Naing Tun, Director General of the Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce.
The new industrial zone will be located over 500 acres Nyaung Na Pin, Hmawbi township,Yangon region. According to master plans for Yangon -Hanthawaddy – Bago Corridor and Yangon South Western Regional Development, the Myanmar – Korea industrial zone is expected to draw investments of up to $200 million and should be complete by 2025.
The Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH), in partnership with the Ministry of Construction, is already building a $120 million, 2.4 sq m industrial complex in Hmawbi township.
There are also six Korean companies that have already y opened factories at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), including food company CJ Cheiljedang and Yojin Construction & Engineering.
South Korea has also invested $98 million to construct an international-standard logistics hub at Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone in Hlaing Thar Yar township, Yangon region. HUBS MK Co Ltd from South Korea and the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organisation under the Ministry of Commerce signed an initial agreement for the project in January.
There have also been Korean companies that have pulled out of Myanmar. In February, Samsung Electronics was reported by Korean media to have abandoned plans to build a manufacturing plant in Myanmar due to the lack of infrastructure and poor economic reforms.
According to official statistics, South Korea’s total investments in Myanmar between 1988 and December 2017 amounted to $ 3.8 billion, making it the sixth largest foreign investor in the country.
Bilateral trade between Myanmar and South Korea reached $866 million in the past 2016-17 fiscal year with $510 million already registered as of November.
The Original Posted By THIHA KO KO/The Myanmar Times