Dawei Boosts Thailand as Auto Hub
The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has pledged its full support on a rail network connecting Laem Chabang and Dawei on Myanmar’s eastern coast. Since the route will support Thailand drive to become region’s automotive and logistics hub.
According to Narong Pomlaktong, the TDRI’s research director of transport and logistics, the 427-kilometre route should be extended by another 877 km to link with Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Thailand will be able to ship steel from integrated steel mill in Dawei from Myanmar to support automotive plans in Thailand.
Across from Tak province’s Phop Prha district, Malamang in Myanmar has a rich source of iron ore and is only 30 km from Dawei. Facing strong opposition from environmentalists in Thailand, Dawei will be a more possible alternative to fulfill the Thailand’s striving to be the Detroit of Asia.
Japan has eyed Dawei as a relocation of its heavy industries plants.
Dr. Narong mentioned that the eastern route of the Singapore Kunming Rail Link (SKRL), which goes up to China via Malaysia over 4,599 km will connect Thailand with Myanmar. With Myanmar opening up, the eastern route is more accessible.
The deep-sea port in Dawei will lessen the shipment transportation to Europe from 16 days to 6 days. The Dawei port is expected to serve 14 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year by 2037, compared to the 7.7 million TEU capacity of the second-phase plan at Laem Chabang port.
Nevertheless, security and labor measures must be considered will cause Myanmar workers in Thailand to return home. Issues involving workers and infrastructure have to be addressed, said Amarit Pansiri, Managing Director of Excel Transport Int'l Co
Myanmar is also developing Yangon new town, a 72-km-wide and 72-km-long area around the former capital to draw attention from industries.