Infrastructure to Myanmar

Trends and opportunities

The market

As Myanmar’s economy develops development, significant investment is expected to occur in resources, infrastructure and agriculture. The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that Myanmar would need to invest US$320 billion in infrastructure between 2010 and 2030 to support economic growth and meet projected future demand. (Source: McKinsey Global Institute, Myanmar’s Moment: Unique Opportunities, Unique Challenges, Jun 2013)

In the electricity sector in particular, while Myanmar has abundant hydropower and natural gas potential, its per capita electricity consumption is the lowest in Southeast Asia and less than 30 per cent of the population has access to reliable electricity supply. (Source: Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Outlook – Myanmar, 2014)

Infrastructure investment will include a broad range of projects funded from bilateral aid programs, through multi-lateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, by direct investment from the private sector and through projects funded through public private partnership arrangements.


The expected expansion in investment in Myanmar’s infrastructure over the next 10 to 15 years will create opportunities for Australian companies across a range of infrastructure sectors, including:

  • power (hydro, gas and coal fired power stations, renewable energy technologies and electricity transmission and distribution)
  • transport (airports, seaports, road and rail)
  • water supply and waste water facilities
  • telecommunications
  • building construction (office, commercial, residential and industrial).

These opportunities are expected to cover engineering services; design, construction and operation of facilities and supply of associated equipment and technology.

Competitive environment

There are a limited number of major international engineering firms that have established a presence in Myanmar to date, particularly from Japan, Korea and China. Most construction and engineering companies are locally based, often part of larger conglomerates that have a broad range of business interests in Myanmar. A small number of western companies are now active in Myanmar, including several from Australia.

Heavy equipment and technology suppliers that are represented in Myanmar include Japanese, European, Chinese and American manufacturers. Some have direct involvement in their distribution networks, while most use local agents and distributors.

Tariffs, regulations and customs

Myanmar is a member of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). Reflecting its lower level of economic development, Myanmar’s commitments to reduce tariffs under AANZFTA is being phased in at a slower rate than other parties to the agreement. Tariffs on most items are scheduled to begin reducing in either 2015 or 2020.

Marketing your products and services

Market entry

For suppliers of technology and equipment, local agents and distributors with specialist industry knowledge and established networks are generally the best way to build market contacts, navigate regulatory and procurement processes and identify emerging opportunities.

Services firms should consider establishing a relationship with a local business partner and/or establishing a direct presence in Myanmar.

Austrade Yangon can provide additional information on specific infrastructure projects and can also help to identify potential local partners for interested Australian companies.


Most imported products arrive by sea through Yangon port, Myanmar ’s busiest port. Road transport overland from neighbouring countries, particularly China and Thailand, is possible but the road systems are generally poor and road freight rates can be very high.

Myanmar has three main international airports, in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. A new international airport in Hanthawaddy, about 80km northeast of Yangon, is currently in the early stages of planning. Myanmar now has direct air connections with most countries in east Asia, with most of these connections being into Yangon.

Links and industry contacts

Directorate of Investment and Company Administration
Myanmar Investment Guide
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT)
Ministry of Construction
Ministry of Electric Power
Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise
Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Energy
Department of Environmental Conservation
Ministry of Transport
Department of Civil Aviation
Myanmar Port Authority
Myanmar Engineering Society
Asian Development Bank
International Finance Corporation
World Bank
Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce
Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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