Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, Myanmar

The government of Myanmar has planned a Special Economic Zone in Kyaukpyu, in the restive region of Rakhine, whose construction will displace around 20,000 people.


Myanmar has seen a quick economic development since the military junta launched political reforms towards democracy in 2011 after almost 50 years of dictatorship. One of the strategies followed by the government to boost this growth has been the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) [1].

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Basic Data
NameKyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, Myanmar
ProvinceRakhine state
SiteKyaukpyu city
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesLand
Industrial services
Manufactured Products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsArea: The government reserved more than 1,700 hectares for the project. It is unclear what will be the area when the project is completed. [10]

Port capacity: 4.8 million tons of bulk cargo and 4.9 million TEU containers

Industries in the SEZ: according to the government project, the land will be mainly allocated for garment and fish-related industries. [11]
Project Area (in hectares)1,708
Level of Investment (in USD)2,300,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population20,000
Start Date01/09/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesCITIC Group from China
China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) from China
China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMHI) from China
TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (TEDA) from China
Yunnan Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (Yunnan Jiangong) from China
Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group (CP) from Thailand
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Myanmar, Myanmar's Ministry of Commerce
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersInternational Commission of Jurists (, Kyaukphyu Regional Development Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession
OtherIncreasing debt
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseThe port was downsized
Development of AlternativesThe ICJ has recommended a moratorium on all the Special Economic Zones and to suspend the land acquisition process in Kyaukpyu.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is still ongoing
Sources and Materials

2014 Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law
[click to view]

2015 Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure
[click to view]


[2] Winner postponed for Kyaukphyu, The Myanmar Times, January 19, 2015
[click to view]

[6] The economic stakes for China in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine, South China Morning Post, September 22, 2017
[click to view]

[5] Rohingya Refugee Crisis, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
[click to view]

[3] Kyaukphyu port: What happens next?, Myanmar Times, November 9, 2018
[click to view]

[4] Why is there communal violence in Myanmar? BBC, July 3, 2014
[click to view]

[1] General Information on Myanmar Special Economic Zones , Thai Embassy in Yangon
[click to view]

[7] Exclusive: China seeks up to 85 percent stake in strategic port in Myanmar, Reuters, May 5, 2017
[click to view]

[8] Analysis: ‘Debt Trap’ Alert Rises in Myanmar as More Belt and Road Projects Scrapped, The Irrawaddy, September 18, 2018
[click to view]

[10] Govt reserves land for Rakhine state SEZ, Myanmar Times, Dec 7 2015
[click to view]

[11] New Chair of Kyaukphyu SEZ Wary of Chinese Loans, The Irrawaddy, July 17 2018
[click to view]

[9] Myanmar: amend Special Economic Zones Law to protect human rights – new ICJ report, February 2017
[click to view]

Other Documents

Demo of the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port Demo of the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port. Myanmar Government (
[click to view]

View of the Kyaukpyu port from the above View of the Kyaukpyu port in January 2018 from the above, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative ((
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLaura Villadiego, Carro de Combate, [email protected]
Last update24/01/2019