It has been great to settle down in Yangon and begin company visits after spending over a week travelling through other parts of Myanmar. While the first three days of GIP Myanmar have filled with fascinating, interactive discussions with business leaders of various industries, I think one of the highlights has been our visit with Marga Capital, a real estate development company. The country’s real estate market is incredibly interesting due to Myanmar’s high prices and strict regulations. Although the annual income per capita in Myanmar is only around $1800, the price for residential and commercial real estate rivals that of the New York City rental market. Many of the executives of the various companies we have met with have also remarked that office rental prices are not sustainable and should we return to Yangon in the future we would likely be visiting them in an alternative office space. Also, according to country regulations, foreigners are not allowed to lease or buy apartments, making it complicated for expatriates to find suitable places to live.
We visited Marga Capital to learn about their plans for Dagon City 1, a massive real estate project that will bring together residential, commercial and state-of-the-art office spaces steps from the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Dagon City 1 project will provide a much needed increase in residential and office space which will hopefully alleviate some of the rising rentals costs seen in the market. We heard from Marga Group’s Executive Director Eliott Suen, an alumnus of Columbia University, on Marga’s project development strategy and were also treated to a tour of model apartments.
The visit ended with a round-table session featuring key players in Myanmar’s business environment as well as a networking session with local students and foreign business leaders. We were also treated to an extra special performance by a youth orchestra with the mission of uniting youth of Myanmar’s various ethnic groups under the shared joy of music.