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More time needed before expatriates consider relocating to Nay Pyi Taw

Myanmar’s administrative capital still lacks international standard healthcare, residential housings, and convenient transport connections to convince expatriates to relocate to the city, according to a recent property survey by Picon-Deed Property Consultants.

In its first property market report on Nay Pyi Taw in September, Picon-Deed stated that the administrative capital’s lighter traffic and cleaner air in comparison to Yangon could attract embassies and international organisations to relocate there.

Yet complete relocation could take “as long as 10 years” due to bureaucratic procedures and the convenience Yangon currently offers.

“Administrative capitals tend to have a slow build up where diplomatic missions tend to wait [before moving],” Tony Picon from Picon-Deed. However, that changes “when a few important movers – typically the larger embassies – make a decision to relocate.”

Nay Pyi Taw’s green and open spaces give the city a potential to transform into a family-friendly city, which Yangon is lacking, added Stuart Deed, from Picon-Deed.

“Nay Pyi Daw does boast some excellent public space where children can play sport or ride their bikes, which is not so simple in Yangon for most,” he said.

However, the city does not yet have an international healthcare and international providers have not announced any plans to open up any clinics, it stated. The city has a range of government-operated and private healthcare facilities, but there is no medevac insurance, which is mandatory for any international staff based in the city.

Nay Pyi Taw is a city connected solely by roads and expatriates have to arrange their own transport either buying or renting a motorcycle or a car for commuting. The Nay Pyi Taw International Airport shortens the duration of domestic travels but international destinations are limited with direct flights to just Bangkok, Shenzhen, and Kumming via China Eastern Airlines, the report said.

Despite the overall size of Nay Pyi Taw, the proportion of housing that meets expatriate needs is limited with the majority of the apartments are for government employees.

This results in foreign businesses, small diplomatic missions and consultants seeking long-stay offices and accommodation with hotel operators instead.

“Most of the foreign-run businesses in Nay Pyi Taw are doing business-to-government work, which means they need to be near decision-makers,” said Mr Picon. “And at this stage few of them need really large spaces, so leasing a villa at a hotel and mildly retrofitting it to purpose is a viable proposition.”

The Myanmar government relocated its administrative capital from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw in 2006. The city has a total of eight townships.

Source: Myanmar Times

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