Friday, August 18, 2017

MIC announces housing and industrial projects

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) announced a national low-cost housing construction project and industrial land building project. They will be among the top-10 prioritised projects supporting both domestic and foreign investors in those sectors.

“After the MIC announced low-cost housing projects as top-priority projects, some foreign and local developers are now interested to invest in the sector,” said U San Myint, deputy director of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) under the MIC.

The MIC will transfer applications for the low-cost housing projects to related regional governments, which will oversee their implementation once those projects receive the green light, he said.

“[The] MIC will negotiate with the related regional governments for the applicants who want to invest in low-cost housing projects around the country… the regional government must give the applicants land to build the units. Once settled, the MIC will approve the implementation,” said U San Myint.

The MIC has said that it will support projects in prioritised sectors, which includes agriculture, fishery, export products, import-oriented products, electricity, transportation, education, health, low-cost housing and industrial land construction.

To develop the country’s economy, the first step is increasing FDI. If FDI does not increase, economic development is halted, said U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, chair and CEO of the SMART Group of Companies.

“Singapore received US$50 billion from FDIs in 2016 ranks the highest in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. Our country [which is much larger], has just $64 billon in GDP in 2016 and ranks 167 on the index,” he explained.

This year, Myanmar’s rank has fallen to 170 on the index. “It is harder to start a business now than last year, U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing added.

U Aung Min, director of Myat Min Construction said, “It is harder to implement some construction projects under the NLD-led government than U Thein Sein’s previous administration.”

“[The] MIC approved the development of the industry and after getting approval, officials from the Ministry of Construction complained that a township cannot build a factory [which needs approval from the Yangon City Development Committee]... environmental experts expressed concerns [regarding waste management]… [and] heritage experts were also concerned about any plans to build new buildings [high-rises] in some areas – which makes implementing the housing sector difficult for investors,” he said.