Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. says it has plans to build a car production factory in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone located about 25 kilometres south of Rangoon.
The plant could be completed by 2015, said officials, according to an article in the Asahi Shimbun.
On Thursday, Japan will sponsor an international conference in Tokyo to support Burma. Lenders, including the Japanese government and the World Bank, are expected to announce additional loans to Burma.
Japan wants to offer the loans as early as possible for the development of the Thilawa District.
When in full production, the factory could produce 20,000 to 30,000 cars a year and be a central component of one of the world’s largest industrial complexes, said officials on Monday. About 2.3 million cars are registered in Burma, with most of them imported from Japan.
The newspaper said Suzuki plans to build the plant on 40 hectares in the suburban Thilawa District of Rangoon, and it will establish a wholly owned subsidiary in the country. In the initial years, the plant will manufacture several thousand cars a year, said officials.
Burma plans to offer special regulations and tax breaks for foreign companies that move into the industrial zone.
The Japanese government is supporting the project, and a company jointly set up by Burmese and Japanese organizations will start developing the special economic zone as early as next spring to improve infrastructure, including facilities for electricity, water and sewerage, officials said.
Myanmar has no large domestic automobile manufacturer, and carmakers from India and China are engaged in small-scale production in the country.
Observers said Japanese companies are increasingly moving to set up factories in countries other than China because of the strained relations between the two countries after the Japanese government nationalized the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Sept. 11.