Tycoon Turf
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Magazine

COVER STORY

Tycoon Turf


By Aung Zaw SEPTEMBER, 2005 - VOLUME 13 NO.9


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(Page 11 of 14)

His tobacco interests led him to establish Burma’s first tobacco joint venture with Indonesia in 1995, with a capital investment of more than US $30 million.

 

Zaykabar’s 75 projects undertaken since 1978 (46 of them government contracts) include a drilling site and access roads for Myanmar Shell BV (Netherlands) and Croft Exploration (UK), Sedona Hotel, YKK Golden Hill Tower and Marina Residential Apartments.

 

One of the company’s most recent projects is Rangoon’s Pyay Garden Condominium, the tallest residential condominium in the capital, comprising two 25 story towers and costing around $30 million. It was originally intended to be the site of the 2006 Asean summit meeting, but Burma’s renunciation of the Asean chairmanship changed those plans. Now the building is slated for completion in 2007.

 

Following tightened sanctions by the US against Burma in July 2004, Khin Shwe signed trade agreements with neighboring China and Thailand, pledging to double border trade. He has also declared his intention to build up business relations with Japan, South Korea and Thailand, and is chairman of the Myanmar-Japan Friendship Association, the Myanmar-Korean Friendship Association and the Myanmar Thai Development Co.

 

Politics are also on businessman Khin Shwe’s agenda, and in 1997, he reportedly hired an American company, Bain and Associates Inc., of Alexandria, to promote a favorable international image of Burma—an endeavour that must have failed miserably.

 

He has publicly backed the junta’s seven-point “road map” to democracy, participates personally in National Convention sessions and toes the government line on democratic opposition—criticizing Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of creating divisions among the Burmese people by acting out of self-interest. Nevertheless, when prime minister Khin Nyunt was toppled last October it was rumored that Khin Shwe was being investigated because of his close connection with the ousted leader.



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