This article provides an overview of Yangon for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- Land area: 598.75 sq km
- Population (2019): 7.83 million
- Mayor: U Maung Maung Soe
- National language: Burmese
- Currency: Kyat
Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is Myanmar’s largest city and former seat of government. Apart from serving as the country’s financial centre, Yangon is also a trade and logistics hub. Home to the country’s main air and sea ports it is also served by road and rail networks. Yangon is bordered by Bago Region Ayeyarwady Region, Kayin State and Mon State.
Yangon’s population reached an estimated 7.83 million in 2014, which is 15.31 percent of the total population of Myanmar (51.14 million). The population of Yangon has grown almost doubled from the 3.966 million recorded in 1983. The urban population made up 69 percent of the total population. The city has an adult literacy rate of 96.6 percent
Between 2012 to 2017, Yangon’s GDP grew at an average 9.2 percent per annum. In 2016 and 2017 alone, its GDP reached USD$10.7 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.5 percent. Yangon’s GDP accounts for about 23 percent of Myanmar’s GDP. In 2018, foreign enterprises accounted for 59 percent of the enterprises in Yangon, with 76 percent concentrated in the manufacturing sector.
The New Yangon City
The New Yangon City is set up to address the challenges faced by the city due to the rise in population, urban infrastructure and to provide opportunities for economic development. The vision of the project by the government-owned New Yangon Development Co (NYDC) is “Productive City, Liveable City” – a city that will be the country’s economic engine, while ensuring an inclusive, green and highly liveable experience for its residents. The first phase of the project involved developing 20,000 acres of land to the west of central Yangon into an urban industrial district. The first phase will comprise five village townships, two bridges, 26 kilometres of artery roads, 10 square kilometres of industrial estate, a power plant, transmission and distribution facilities, as well as a water and wastewater treatment plant. The project hopes to create two million jobs.
Thilawa Special Economic Zone
Located along the Yangon River 25 kilometres south of Yangon, the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is the first of three SEZs in Myanmar. . Its target industries include light industries and the manufacturing of consumer goods. While Zone A of Thilawa SEZ was opened on 23 September 2015, Zone B is still under construction. As of January 2019, the Thilawa SEZ has attracted a total of 103 investors from 18 countries, with the majority involved in manufacturing.
Yangon is often the first point of entry for most international visitors. The city is a melting pot of cultures and religions. It has a large number of colonial-era buildings in Southeast Asia and has a unique colonial-era urban core that has been maintained over the years. While numerous pagodas dot the city, the Shwedagon Pagoda is the most prominent and well-loved landmark. Purported to be the oldest in Asia, it is the national pride of Yangon. The city also has a number of parks, such as the Kandawgyi Lake and Bogyoke Park, and an array of colonial-era buildings.
Singapore and Yangon
As of 30 September 2018, the highest foreign direct investment inflows to Myanmar was from Singapore, with 289 enterprises investing US$19.731 billion. One of these is construction group and property developer Tiong Seng Holdings Limited, which had completed the construction of Yuzana low-cost residential units in the Dagon Seikkan township in Yangon in March 2018.