Myanmar Industry Overview

Construction & Engineering


Due to the rapid expansions in Myanmar's construction industry along with the investments in infrastructure and property development in Yangon and Mandalay, the GDP growth of this industry has reached, 7.7% in FY 14-15 with a value of US $8.2 billion according to the Asian Development Bank, which expects growth to accelerate to 8.3% in FY 16-17. The construction industry is mainly made up of residential, infrastructure and industry sectors. Over the recent previous years, residential properties construction has been the largest sector in the country's construction industry, accounting for 50% of the industry value in 2015. Its growth has been driven by the government investments in its affordable housing program. During the next couple of years, the sector is expected to remain the largest in the industry, to value US$9.7 billion in 2020. The Infrastructure construction is the second-largest market in the construction industry, accounting for 19.4% of the industry's total value in 2015. It has been driven by the government's plan to invest US$26.8 billion under the National Transport Master Plan, allocating funds to road, rail, water and air transportation projects until 2030. The Industrial construction is the third- largest sector in the Myanmar construction industry, with a value of US$398M in 2011, which accounted for a share of 13.7% of the total industry value. It is mainly driven by domestic factors such as government economic policy, development plan and political stability.

Opportunities and Barriers

Opportunities are abundant for those investors interested in developing low-cost and mid-range residential properties and housing since the current supply is spread unevenly across Myanmar's real estate segments. Moreover, there will be future development coming in the shape of public-private investments (PPPs) for infrastructure development projects. Since it is still necessary to import some of the construction materials mainly from China, Thailand and India and the cost of construction is high. Other than that, inefficient logistics and opaque land ownership laws also contribute towards rising costs. The not fully developed financial system also making it difficult for contractors to secure the capital that would enable them to build. Due to this reason, project financing is very demanded by contractors to the local and international banks.

Legal & Regulatory Framework

Regulations concerning the construction industry are being updated to keep up with the investment inflow and to raise the overall quality and standards of the industry and buildings. The Yangon City Development Committee is updating regulations concerning building contractors. Contractors are required to obtain a license before undertaking any kind of building work in Myanmar. Other laws governing construction and national Land use policy that will ensure greater transparency in terms of land ownership are also being updated. For Securing permits, Yangon City Development Committee can approve the proposals for buildings under eight stories and those for high-rise buildings of more than eight stories can be obtained from the High-Rise Building Inspection Committee. The projects above 12 floors must submit to inspections by the Quality Control for High-rise Projects, as well as regulatory approvals involving other government agencies. The whole process can take from 2 months to a year in order to secure all necessary approvals. In addition, such permits usually require that construction be completed within a certain time frame, although contractors can apply for extensions.

Allowed Types of Investments

Investment businesses permitted with recommendation of Ministry of construction are;

  1. Roads built by Ministry, new roads built running parallel to the said roads, additional new periphery roads to be built if necessary, roads linking to the said roads
  2. Roads restricted under strategic requirement of national security
  3. Elevated express ways, tunnel, inner ring and outer ring road, interchange, underpass under motorway/railway, overpass of flyover over motorway/railway, semi underground road, submersible tunnel
  4. Construction of bridges of 180 feet and above
  5. Construction of new towns and urban and region development
  6. Development of urban and region area of 100 acres and above
  7. Construction of housing in minimum 50,000 square meter congruous to an industrial zone and affordable housing
  8. Except for Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay, urban re-development on the area of four acres and above in the capitals of region/state


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