Myanmar hires China Communications to survey bold new city

Myanmar’s plans to build a city twice the size of Singapore took a step forward this week with the signing of a framework agreement with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) to conduct preconstruction surveys as a prelude to the $1.5bn first phase of the scheme.

It may not be CCCC, a huge state-owned company, who builds the first phase, however.

The developer, New Yangon Development Company Limited (NYDC), said yesterday that the project documents would be made public, allowing other bidders to come forward with what is called a "Swiss challenge".

If a second bidder does come forward with a lower bid for the work, CCCC will have the chance to match it. If it chooses not to, the winning bidder will reimburse it for the work it has done to date.

The city has been described by Myanmar officials as their country’s version of Shenzhen, a reference to the mainland city next to Hong Kong that was the birthplace of the Chinese economic miracle.

This first phase will include the construction of five village townships, two bridges, 26km of arterial roads, a 10-sq-km industrial estate, as well as power and water utilities. The development will be sited to the west of Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, across the Yangon River.

At a press conference in Yangon last week, Phyo Min Thein, the chief minister of the Yangon Region, said the scheme had attracted investor interest from China, South Korea and countries in the ASEAN bloc.

The NYDC was launched on 31 March to develop the project under a public-private partnership model, with private businesses contributing equity investments.

Image: A view of the site of the new city, over the Yangon River (Waiyanlin/Creative Commons)

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