JICA has officially signed a joint venture agreement for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (Class A Area) Development Project. To see JICA’s press release, see:
Mekong Watch will release a statement shortly. For the moment, suffice it to say we are very disappointed that JICA has made this decision at this time. Affected people have repeatedly tried to engage JICA in discussion about what they see to be violations of JICA’s environmental and social guidelines. Without meeting these villagers to investigate these serious allegations, JICA’s signing on to the joint venture sends a signal to local people that local livelihoods are not high on JICA’s list of priorities. Another unfortunate cornerstone to the first such project in Burma since resumption of JICA’s private sector investment financing in October 2012.