The construction and engineering sectors in Myanmar “can progress at a much faster rate” than its regional neighbours like Vietnam because it has British building standards and codes, the head of a major urban development consultancy has said.
Wong Heang Fine, group CEO at Singapore-based Surbana Jurong, said a shared legacy of British rule means, “Myanmar is a very natural market for us as we export our engineering services – much more so than, say, a former French territory.”
The state-owned consultancy was involved in the construction of over a million homes in Singapore and has secured contract for master plans for cities in Rwanda and Ghana.
In Myanmar it recently signed a deal with a leading construction industry body to assist with the NLD government’s house-building push. It has also secured a contract to provide masterplanning, infrastructure and port planning services to the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone project in Rakhine state.
Wong, speaking with the Oxford Business Group,said the fact the two countries were both colonised by the British made it easier for Singapore to transfer its expertise. This was “the biggest advantage for Myanmar,” when it came to engineering, he said.
“In my view, it can progress at a much faster rate than places like Vietnam, Laos or even Thailand,” he said.
He added: “We probably do not need to modify or change a lot to tap that potential. In technical engineering design, for example, we share the same codes and adhere to the same standards.
“For Myanmar to adopt some of the things we do, they won’t have to change much. However, if you look at Indonesia, which was influenced by the Dutch, doing business with Myanmar – from our perspective as engineers – will be much more difficult for Indonesian companies.”
Source: Myanmar Business Today