This is a strategic expansion of 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 will work in tandem with more than 2,500 specialists in 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.

“Colliers is the first global real estate services firm to enter the Myanmar real estate market,” says Piers Brunner, Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Colliers International. “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’s important for us to have the operation in place in order to assist our clients as they expand their business or real estate portfolio in Myanmar.”

“Tony was previously Head of Research at Colliers Thailand. Due to 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,” adds Brunner.

Colliers established its reputation in the Myanmar real estate market back in 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. Rentals 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. Quality apartments are hard to find and hotel rates are increasing by the day as interest in the country continues to rise. "We are bullish about the prospects for those who wish to be part of the Myanmar growth story. Yet, like any frontier market, everybody must be prepared for some difficulties when they start to operate here," says Picon.

“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 local businesses and foreign companies that want to invest in the country.”

Picon adds that Colliers wants 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. Moreover, the country has an abundance of minerals, including potentially significant oil and gas reserves. Strategically placed between 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 International is investing in the country to support the businesses that will drive its development.