- Published: 8 Sep 2013 at 22.26
Myanmar on Sunday opened tenders for a consultancy firm to help launch a special economic zone in the troubled Rakhine state, where sectarian violence claimed almost 200 lives last year.
The project is expected to cost about 227 million dollars in the initial phase, officials said.
The Rakhine is one of the most impoverished regions in Myanmar, listed as one of the world's least developed countries after almost five decades of military rule that came to an end in November, 2010, when the country held a general election ushering in a new era of political and economic reforms.
The economic zone will be set up near Kyunk Phyu township in the Rakhine state, about 500 kilometres west of Yangon.
The project is part of the government's bid to bring economic opportunities to the state, where fighting broke out last year between Buddhist and Muslim communities leaving at least 167 dead, according to official figures, and displacing up to 140,000 people.
"If all the local people have jobs, they will want to live under peaceful conditions," said Aung Kyaw Than, joint secretary of the SEZ management committee. "This project can create 70,000 jobs for local people, especially for women," he said.
Interested consultants must submit their bids between September 23 to November 19. The winner is set to be announced on November 27.
A project developer is expected to be selected by March, with construction to start in April.