Myanmar military official warns of deterrent to FDI influx

November 25, 2012 5:16 am 

YANGON, Nov. 24 — A Myanmar military official has warned of deterrent to the influx of foreign direct investment if contracts with foreign countries were broken by Myanmar without keeping promises, official media reported Saturday.

Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Wai Lwin gave the warning at the 5th session of the House of Representatives (Lower House) Friday when making clarification with regard to an important proposal submitted by Pale constituency MP Daw Khin San Hlaing to the President to form an independent state-level commission to probe into the case of Monywa copper mining project faced with interruption if it should be allowed to go on or not.

The Monywa copper mining project comprising Latpadaung and Kyayzintaung projects in Myanmar's northwestern Sagaing region has been undertaken by the Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd ,China's Wanbao Mining Ltd and Yang Tze Copper Ltd under the approval of the Ministry of Mines in March 2010 with 60-year grant land in September 2012 after a Canadian company, the Ivanhoe, pulled out two years ago.

Profit sharing of Latpadaung copper mining project is such that Myanmar government 16.8 percent, Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd 13.8 percent and fully invested Chinese company 13.33 percent after deducting production cost of 56 percent which conforms to international standard of production cost raio, according to Wai Lwin who added that the profit ratio between Myanmar side and the Chinese investor is 2:1.

Demonstrations have been taking place intermittently since February this year when the project started interrupting the ongoing project and causing big loss, according to Wai Lwin.

He clarified the Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd was established with the contribution of veterans, families of fallen soldiers and disabled soldiers, and the profits are used for their welfare .

He disclosed that Wanbao Mining Ltd's investment was granted by the Myanmar Investment Commission with land compensation already given so did for the houses removed.

Households were provided with rice and household utensils and free transportation had also been made as well as new villages built.

Free health care, supply of drinking water and providing of stipends for university students were also carried out, he said.

He further disclosed that works were managed in line with the international environmental standard and gained three internationally-recognized certificates for the project.

He also revealed that the House of Nationalities' Natural Resources Committee and the Myanmar Human Rights Commission have inspected the project.

Wai Lwin called for standing by the right side if the proposal is worth implementing for the interest of the nation.

For the past few days, demonstration by locals against the continued implementation of the project escalated.

Since the start of the implementation of the project early this year after taking over from Canada's Ivanhoe, few local villagers were first dissatisfied and generated some problems with the project which is merely an economic issue. Later, with political instigation, it has been misguided and developed into a series of political protests since the past two months, complicating the issue, some analysts here viewed.

Responsible project officials of investing companies of Myanmar and China had made clear that the Monywa copper mine project has been carried out strictly and scientifically in accordance with Myanmar's law, international standard and religious procedure.

The project is supervised by the third party of Singaporean experts who inspected the project regularly once six months, finding that the water safety level in the area conformed to the required standard.(PNA/Xinhua)



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