The Yangon Region government is aiming to make all things more affordable for people in the city and make it a green, livable commercial city that embraces its urban heritage, said Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein during the 10th anniversary of Barcamp Yangon. The ideas are based on Yangon Master Plan 2040, which was drafted with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Part of the plans call for Yangon to be developed as modern port city and economic centre. “Yangon Port is in the city area so we have to consider moving it outside the city. We’re studying the feasibility of building a port facing the sea, which means parts of the city will extend to the mouth of Yangon River,” he said. “The plan will also see Kawhmu Township becoming a business and commercial centre,” he added.
(Source: The Myanmar Times, February 4, 2019)
With the construction of Dala Bridge project expected to start in coming three months, opportunities are arising on the southern side of the Yangon River. Geographically, the area has high potential for industrial, logistics, ports, and tourism businesses. Despite this, it has largely been unexplored in part due to difficulties in transportation. One particular example is the Lakkhokkon Beach facing Andaman Sea, which is less visited, compared to other beaches in Myanmar. After the completion of the bridge, there is a high chance of the place becoming a new area of interest for future investments. The government should encourage the development to take place by finding ways to clear the obstacles, such as to have sufficient electrical supply, new or better transportation routes, skilled workforce, and convenient policies.
The Real Estate Services Bill aiming to increase tax revenues and to build confidence in the industry has been submitted to the Pyithu Hluttaw. The bill draft includes a provision allowing joint ventures with foreigners in real estate service businesses.
(Source: The Myanmar Times, February 1, 2019)
While ASEAN is working to standardize many financial regulations throughout the economic community; estate taxes are still imposed differently depending on the country. In Myanmar, real estate market sees the challenging yet exciting deals at present. Colliers believe the proposed Real Estate Services Bill will help increase tax revenues and create a systematic framework for an unregulated market. Seeing the draft bill welcoming joint ventures with international developers to lure more foreign investors in the country, we believe this will provide more confidence in transactions for both sellers and buyers.
Investment from Western countries has significantly dropped in the past year, and looming future sanctions from Europe threaten the country's lucrative textile industry. Western sanctions against Myanmar
may not have their intended consequences, observers say: The government is recalibrating its economic policies for a more regional approach, with a familiar patron of the past, China, poised to play an increasingly important role. More recently, the European Union announced
it would start a six-month review process of more sanctions: removing the country of tariff-free access to the world's largest trading bloc. The sanctions could devastate Myanmar's textile sector by putting as many as 450,000 garment workers out of work within four years, the European chamber of commerce, Eurocham Myanmar, said in a statement.
(Source: U.S. News & World Report L.P, January 31, 2019)
Strategically located between China, India and Thailand, Myanmar is surrounded by some of the fastest growing economies in the world. A large and cheap workforce, natural resources and generally low production costs make Myanmar a perfect destination for foreign investment. Growth rates of over 6% over the last few years and the need of the government to attract more FDI for development signal increasing opportunities. In 2018, the country’s GDP growth slowed down slightly from 6.4% to 5.9%. The slowdown can be explained by the reduced FDI inflows due to the country’s political climate. However, the prospects and opportunities the country offers still motivate investors. In the fiscal year from mid-2017 to 2018, USD5.7 billion in FDI inflows were generated, which marked a strong increase in relation to the previous years. Especially the manufacturing sector has witnessed significant growth rates. The garment sector, in particular, has reached new heights in production. Cheap wages and the favorable external trade environment have led to this development. Preferential access to the EU and the US market mainly accelerates the growth of the manufacturing sector. The EU initiative “Everything but Arms” gives Myanmar tariff- and quota-free market access to the EU common market.