MIC approves Border Guard Force-backed luxury villas project

By YE MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — The Myanmar Investment Commission has approved the first phase of a multi-billion dollar “city expansion” project in Kayin State’s Myawaddy Township backed by a local Border Guard Force and Chinese conglomerate.

Myanmar Yatai International Holding Group, formed by the Kayin Border Guard Force and Chinese listed firm Jilin Yatai Group, will invest US$22.5 million in the project, a Directorate of Investment and Company Administration official told Frontier.

Daw Mya Sandar, director of Investment Division 3 at DICA, said the first phase of the city expansion would see the company build high-end villas on 25.5 acres of land beside the Thaung Yin river in the Kaukoo Myaing region of Myawaddy. The project was approved on July 26.

MIC data shows the BGF will hold a 20 percent stake in Myanmar Yatai, while Jilin Yatai will own the remainder.

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BGF official and Myanmar Yatai director Saw Min Min confirmed earlier reports that the entire project would see 2,000 acres of land along the border developed. The project will include a a hotel, school, monastery, shopping centre, park, villas and golf course, and will connect with the Asia Highway, he said.

“We want to implement the whole city expansion project but the state government doesn’t allow us so we’ve decided to begin with phase one,” Min Min said.

Myanmar Yatai Group expects to complete the first phase within three years and is also hopeful of receiving prompt approval for phase two. The engineers on the first phase of the project would be Chinese, he added.

Mya Sandar said MIC had no information on future phases of the “city expansion” project.

“They just submitted a proposal for high-end villas project. We don’t know about the rest,” she said.

“We don’t know that their partner is Chinese. According to our documents a Cambodian businessman owns 67.68 percent and two Malaysian businessmen own 12.32 percent,” she said.

However, Min Min from the BGF confirmed that the three foreign directors involved in Myanmar Yatai are representatives of Jilin Yatai Group, which is involved in the building materials, real estate, pharmaceutical, finance, coal, and trading industries.

He said the directors are Chinese but hold citizenship of other countries.

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