Come heat or highwater, Yangonites persevere
26 Apr 18 - The Yangon Regional Government is drawing up a master plan with the aid of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and Korea International Cooperation Agency to transform Yangon into an economic hub with job and business opportunities for residents and investors, according to a report on the government's performance by state-owned media yesterday.
Topping the list of priorities is granting businesses access to credit. On this front, the regional government will create a new division to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and facilitate their relationships with investors so that more growth opportunities can be generated.
The government will also aim to educate the SME sector on developing strategic business plans and sound book keeping practices so that the firms are able to qualify for loans needed to develop and grow.
Meanwhile, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said the New Yangon Development Company is now ready to begin implementing projects at the Yangon New City project. The project will be developed across more than 18,000 acres of farmland in Kyimyindaing township, Seikgyikanaungto township and Twante township in the south west of Yangon.
According to U Phyo Min Thein, the first stage of development at Yangon New City will focus on infrastructure and industry work under Public Private Partnerships with the regional government.
Already, local and international businesses have been invited to participate in tendering for projects and interest from the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Asean in road construction, power generation and factories is "looking strong," U Phyo Min Thein said. There have already been proposals to build two bridges connecting the new city to the old.
Meanwhile, interest from investors in the US and EU has so far been centered in the technology and services sectors.
By next year, Yangon will also be fully electrified with over 430 megawatts of power generated by three power plants. Yangon is currently estimated to be consuming 1,190 MW of electricity a year, which is about half the country's supply, and demand is said to be rising by 15 percent year-over-year, each year.
The regional government will also attempt to resettle squatters trespassing on development lands and is now working with JICA to provide them with homes. "The resettlement process cannot be carried out using public funds so we are talking to JICA to come up with a solution for the squatters," U Phyo Min Thein said.
There are currently around 400,000 squatters estimated to be living in Yangon, according to a government survey.
Meanwhile, a Yangon City development plan is already being drawn up under which measures will be taken to make the city more resilient to natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. In fact, some K32 billion has already been approved for the construction of bridges by the Yangon Regional Parliament.
On the whole, the regional government is aiming to revise Yangon's urban plan to include more green spaces and infrastructure while conserving the many heritage buildings in the city.
Source: The Myanmar Times