Opportunities and challenges as Colliers opens office in Myanmar

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Colliers International becomes the first international real estate services company to open an office in Myanmar.

“We see huge potential in the country, with many of our clients seeking new opportunities in what is arguably the last major frontier market in the region,” CEO Piers Brunner said yesterday.

“It is important for us to have the operation in place in order to assist our clients as they expand their business or real estate portfolio in Myanmar.”

Colliers now operates 39 offices in 14 countries throughout Asia. The new office will be opened in Yangon.

Tony Picon, the head of research at the Bangkok office, has been appointed as managing director of Myanmar. He began to focus on Myanmar real estate two years ago and moved to Yangon last year.

“He has the knowledge and expertise to help our clients understand Myanmar’s property market,” Brunner said.

Colliers’ “Yangon Property Market Report”, published in 2011, is still recognised as the only extensive real estate research report in the country.

Myanmar offers great opportunities, but also significant challenges. Office rents are now passing US$100 per square metre per month, making them among the highest in Southeast Asia. The cost of Yangon office space now rivals that of Hong Kong and Singapore. Quality apartments are also hard to find and hotel rates are rising.

“Myanmar has remained more or less isolated for the past 60 years, and there are gaps in services here.

“It is therefore important for us as a service provider to manage expectations, and align the interests of local businesses and foreign companies that want to invest in the country,” Picon said.

Colliers wants to become part of the local community and Myanmar’s development. Its extensive training programmes will help equip local staff to deliver quality services and operate to international standards, he said.

Colliers International has over 13,500 professionals operating out of more than 482 offices in 62 countries.

Source: Nationmultimedia

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