Policy changes in Myanmar and the Philippines could boost retail market–Colliers


(Source: The Business Times | October 26, 2018)

Moves by the authorities to open up Myanmar and the Philippines to more foreign investment are expected to give the retail sector a lift, according to real estate consultancy Colliers Q3 Asia market report.

Government initiatives have reinforced growth in Myanmar’s retail and business hotel markets, while the liberalization has piqued the interest of major retailers in Asia in Yangon, where retail occupancies have held steady at 90 percent, said deputy managing director Karlo Pobre.

He added: “In H1 2018, the government took further action to liberalize the sector by allowing full foreign ownership of wholesale and retail operators subject to certain restrictions such as minimum capital investment requirements as well as minimum trade areas.

“In the meantime, Colliers sees robust and untapped demand for large-scale shopping malls. Creating destination retail establishments geared towards recreation and entertainment will bode well for the market as these appear to be an attractive offering to many locals.”

In the Philippines, the relaxation of foreign ownership rules in key sectors such as construction and retail, as well as ongoing construction of major infrastructure projects in the Metro Manila, are potential drivers of economic growth.

“The government has indicated it will reduce the minimum capital required for foreign retailers to open shop in the country from US$2.5 million to US$200,000,” said deputy managing director Ieyo de Guzman.

“This move by the government should enable entry of more foreign retailers, particularly those in the food and beverage and home furnishing sectors as these are still dominated by local players.”


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