□ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of Korea launched proactive infrastructure diplomacy in Myanmar from March 14 to 15 to support Korean companies’ venture to the country’s infrastructure development.
ㅇ The official delegation, led by H.E. KIM Hyun-mee, Minister of MOLIT, also accompanied business delegates from KIND (Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation), LH(Korea Land and Housing Corporation) and ICAK(International Contractors Association of Korea).
□ Myanmar is gaining attention as an emerging market in the “New Sothern Region,” a region encompassing ASEAN prioritized for cooperation under Korea’s New Southern Policy. Since its removal from the SDN(Specially Designated Nation) list, economy and politics in Myanmar has turned stable.
ㅇ In terms of location, Myanmar connects ASEAN with major emerging economies in Asia such as China and India. To America, China and India, Myanmar is a country of strategic interest due to its impact on their economies and security. The country also holds immense growth potential thanks to its reserve of natural resources including gas, oil and jade.
ㅇ To realize its potential, Myanmar government enacted a series of reforms, including revision of corporate law in August, 2018 and release of ‘Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan’ in September, 2018. As the country embraces the reform, an increasing number of businesses are considering their venture to Myanmar.
□ For the Korean government, it engaged in diplomacy for Korean companies interested in infrastructure construction in Myanmar, most notably by channeling EDCF, a concessionary loan program of Korea, to several projects in Myanmar including the Dala Bridge Project.
ㅇ During Minister Kim’s visit, which was part of such endeavor, the Minister had meetings with the Minister of Construction and Minister of Transport and Communications of Myanmar.
□ At her meeting with H.E U Han Zaw, Minister of Construction, Minister Kim congratulated on the successful ground breaking ceremony of the Dala Bridge and shared her insight on the need to establish a comprehensive development plan for the Dala region.
ㅇ Citing the successful new town development experience that LH and Korean companies achieved in Korea, Minister Kim explained how their participation in Dala development would benefit Myanmar.
ㅇ On Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex Project, Minister Kim predicted that the completion of the complex would attract more Korean companies and thereby contribute to the Myanmar economy. To ensure speedy implementation of the project, the Minister requested continued support from the Myanmar government.
ㅇ Another project discussed during the meeting was the Elevated Expressway Project in Yangon (a four-lane inner ring road project including a 30-year operation concession). Minister Kim requested Myanmar’s consideration of Korean companies’ participation in the project.
ㅇ Korea formed Team Korea, a public-private partnership comprised of KIND, Korea Expressway Corporation, Dealim, Lotte, Posco and Daewoo to bid for the project. KIND is considering its participation as financial investor, which, if it happens, would be its first investment in ASEAN.
□ During her meeting with H.E. U Thant Sin Maung, Minister of Transport and Communications of Myanmar, the two Ministers reaffirmed their willingness to pursue infrastructure development in Myanmar by utilizing various aid and loan programs of Korea and strengthen bilateral cooperation on transportation.
ㅇ In particular, given the steady increase in exchanges since the introduction of visa waiver last October, Minister Kim also proposed closer cooperation on air capacity expansion.
□ Minister Kim also held a meeting with Korean business representatives in Myanmar to listen to issues and challenges they face in the country. After the meeting, the Minister said that she will reflect their opinions in shaping the Ministry’s policies and measures.
□ Mr. Lee, Seong-hai, Assistant Minister for Construction Policy of MOLIT said, “Myanmar is emerging as a key partner under the New Southern Policy and Korea will seek more engagement and cooperation with the country going forward.”
ㅇ“In that regard, MOLIT will support Team Korea to encourage Korea’s venture to the infrastructure market in Myanmar and review measures that will boost Korea’s competitiveness in PPP projects including use of various financing schemes and institutions like KIND.”