International property consultant, Colliers International has opened a new office in Yangon – having recognised Myanmar’s enormous growth potential and in supporting businesses entering this emerging market. 

Mr Tony Picon has been appointed as Managing Director, Myanmar, Colliers International.

This is a strategic expansion for Colliers International, which continues to grow its geographic coverage and extend its services to clients throughout the world. Colliers now operates in 39 offices in 14 countries throughout Asia. The local team in Myanmar will work in tandem with more than 2,500 real estate professionals across the region to support businesses that wish to establish a presence in the country through property investment or by setting up an office or residence. 

Mr Piers Brunner, Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Colliers International, says, “Colliers is the first international real estate services firm to enter the Myanmar real estate market.  We see huge potential in the country – with many of our clients seeking new opportunities in what is, arguably, the last major frontier market in the region. It is important for us to have the operation in place to assist our clients, as they expand their business or real estate portfolio in Myanmar.” 

Mr Brunner adds, “Tony was previously the Head of Research at Colliers Thailand. Due to the growing demand for consultancy and brokerage services, he began to focus on Myanmar real estate two years ago. Tony moved to Yangon in 2012. He has the knowledge and expertise to help our clients understand the country’s increasingly-complex property market.”

Colliers has established its reputation in the Myanmar real estate market since 2011, when it published the Yangon Property Market Report, which is still recognised as the only extensive real estate research report in the country.

Myanmar offers great opportunities, but also significant challenges.  Rents for office space are now passing the US$100 per square metre per month barrier, making them among the highest in South East Asia.  The cost of Yangon office space now rivals that of Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Mr Picon says, "We are bullish about the prospects for those who wish to be part of the Myanmar growth story. Yet, similar to any frontier market, everybody must be prepared for some difficulties when they start to operate here.

The country has remained, more or less, isolated for the past 60 years, and there are gaps in services here. It is, therefore, important for us as a service provider to manage expectations and align the interests of both local businesses and foreign companies that want to invest in the country.”

Mr Picon adds that Colliers aims to become part of the local community and Myanmar’s development. “One of my primary objectives is to nurture the capacity of the local people. Colliers’ extensive training programmes, such as Colliers University, will help ensure our local staff are well-equipped to deliver quality services and operate to international standards.”

Myanmar has a population of around 60 million, which will become a growing new market for consumer products. The country also has an abundance of minerals, including potentially significant oil and gas reserves. Strategically surrounded by China, India and Thailand, it also boasts miles of pristine beaches and a wealth of tourist attractions. Myanmar is well-positioned for rapid growth, and Colliers is investing in the country to support the businesses that will drive its development.