Taungthaman Thitsar resort project resumes amid rising investments
 updatetime:2018-07-11 18:28:00   View:0 Source:The Myanmar Times

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The Taungthaman Thitsar resort project, which is near popular Taungthaman Lake and U Bein Bridge in Amarapura Township of Mandalay city, will resume with the permission of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), responsible persons of the project told The Myanmar Times.

The MIC granted permission for the project, which was suspended in 2015, to resume in May. Currently, a feasibility study is being carried out and permission to begin construction has been submitted to the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC), U Khin Maung Tun, information officer for the project, said last week.

“We have submitted the construction designs for Phase I of the project to the MCDC. We submitted all the necessary documents to the relevant environmental departments. All the required applications have been submitted,” he said.

It is estimated that the project will commence before the end of the month, he added. It will be developed by Taungthaman Thitsar Company and take around five years to complete.

The resort project, which will include a Myanmar cultural heritage exhibition, Myanmar traditional handicraft shops and a recreational park, will be developed on 40 acres of land near Taungthaman, Nwar Noe Taw Su, Tae Nant Thar and Ywar Thit villages. 

Taungthaman Thitsar Company first implemented this project in April, 2015. However, development was suspended under the new government so that it could consult stakeholders on the impact of the project to public and environment and if it was in accordance with land and other regulations. For example, construction is not allowed within 200 feet of U Bein Bridge

“After the government reviewed the project, the permitted building height has been reduced from 50 feet to 40 feet. Three existing buildings above 50 feet will be demolished,” said U Khin Maung Tun.

“The project has to adhere to the policies of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum in addition to meeting environmental requirements audited by a third party. As the buildings were higher than the limit, we ordered them to be demolished,” said Dr Zaw Myint Maung, Mandalay Chief Minister.

Rising investments

The Taungthaman project is being given the green light at a time when efforts to draw more investments to Mandalay are on the rise. 

For example, the State government has given the Mandalay Regional Investment Committee (MRIC) has been given the authority to directly approve investments of up to$ 5 million, according to Dr. Zaw Myint Maung.

“The MRIC now holds a monthly meeting during which we review investment proposals and if the documents are complete, we make decisions on the spot. The documents needed include recommendations from the Fire Department, business licenses and tax statements. We have reduced the steps as much as possible and we can also grant permission on the spot. We are also trying to be free from corruption,” he said.

This year so far, Mandalay has received investment funds totaling $13.6 million from five foreign businesses and K23 billion from nine local businesses. 

In Mandalay Region, total approved investments to-date amount to $ 3.2 billion from 62 foreign companies and K4.8 trillion from 154 Myanmar companies. These include Hilton Hotels & Resorts and animal nutrition company De Heus.

While most of the foreign investors in Mandalay are from China, companies from 15 other countries are also present in the Region, including those from Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Australia, UK, Germany, France, US, Japan and South Korea. 

Most of the funds are channeled into the industry, energy and tourism sectors. However, the government has yet to announce new incentives to promote further investments to Mandalay, said Daw Nwe Ni Oo, director at the Mandalay Directorate of Investment and Company Administration. 

As a result, economic growth in Mandalay hit 7.4pc in 2017-18, up from 6.1pc in 2016-17. Over the period, the number of job opportunities doubled to 11,660.  

In addition, additional revenue received from project tendering totaled K4 billion in 2017-18 compared to just K1.1 billion the year before. The funds were successfully channeled into rural development and the construction of hospitals, schools and staff quarters, Dr. Zaw Myint Maung said.


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