In a statement at the annual meeting of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, minister of investment and foreign economic relations U Thaung Tun said that three major foreign-backed developments are moving forward despite the pandemic downturn. These projects include the Thailand-backed Amata Smart and Eco City, the Myanmar-Singapore Industrial Park, and the the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex. The projects are worth an estimated USD 1 billion, USD 230 million, and USD 110 million, respectively. The minister said construction on the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex would begin this week.
His statement reaffirms that foreign investment has remained relatively strong — at least, compared with other economic activities. Even during the pandemic, Korea, Japan, Thailand, India and other non-Chinese Asian neighbors have proposed or inked major jointly-backed developments in and around Yangon. Other examples include a new mall (possibly the largest in Myanmar) from Japanese retail giant Aeon and two high-value residential projects from Yoma Land, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings.
Beyond real estate, other Asian-backed projects include new industrial zones, factories, power plants, fuel refineries, and roadways, bridges and other infrastructure. Some partners also extended low-interest financing, the largest (other than China) being Japan, which has offered hundreds of millions of dollars for non-pandemic related developments in addition to vast sums of COVID-19 relief.