Mandalay is poised to become the second-largest hub for growth after Yangon, the city’s chief minister Dr Zaw Myint Maung said at the Mandalay Business Forum held over the weekend.
Dr Zaw Myint Maung highlighted the region’s vast, unoccupied land, which is ripe for investments and assured investors of looser regulations that will enable them to easily participate in growth opportunities.
U Thaung Tun, chair of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC)added that regional authorities have been given the mandate to approve investments of up to US$5 million under the new Myanmar Investment Law.
“Mandalay has been identified as the city with the most potential for growth in ASEAN,” Dr Zaw Myint Maung told the 900 government officials – including the chief ministers of Yangon, Mon and Sagaing – and businessmen present at the forum.
The city is currently developing projects including the 4000 hectare Myotha Industrial Park, which will house a slew of industrial, commercial and residential developments – as well as Semeikhon Port, which will be the city’s point of trade.
This year so far, the Myotha project has drawn new investors from Japan. “We are optimistic that more will come before the end of the year and throughout next year,” said U Aung Win Khaing, chair of Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development Public Co Ltd.
There is also the 4800 hectare New Mandalay Resort City project, which will be developed in phases and include luxury housing, a golf course and agriculture zone when complete.
However, merchants warn that reliable electricity supply and skilled labour remains in short supply in Mandalay. They said the government should actively communicate its efforts to fill those gaps to investors.
From January to September, the MIC permitted six foreign investments worth US$16 million and 12 local investments of about K30 billion in Mandalay.