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Myanmar COVID-19 Office Sector Brief - Office Developer

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

"For our first in-depth sector review we assess the impact that COVID-19 has had on the commercial leasing market by focusing on three main stakeholders; tenants, asset owners and developers. All three of these stakeholders have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways and this brief will look at how they are dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic." Slate Property Services Myanmar

"Although the impact of the virus may not have been immediate as with other real estate sectors, office developments that are currently under construction or earmarked for construction have also been affected by COVID-19. Uncertainty over supply chain issues and movement restrictions caused developers to plan for major delays, however, guidelines published by the Ministry of Health and Sport (MOHS) have now allowed construction to continue.

The new guidelines issued by the MOHS, which have been released since our initial overview, are aimed at allowing the continuation of construction whilst minimising the risks of virus transmission. The guidelines include measures such as;

  • The requirement of all workers to wear face masks whilst on-site,

  • Periodic hand washing,

  • A maximum of five individuals at a workstation,

  • Split meal times,

  • Temperature checks and policies to reduce the likelihood of queues on the building site.

By implementing these measures it is likely that developers can continue construction without incurring major delays.

Iain Fairbairn, Project Director at Yoma Land, told SPS “on the Yoma Central site our contractor has implemented workplace practices that are in line with the guidelines published by the Ministry of Health and Sport in order to limit the spread on COVID-19. The Employer (MDL) and Engineer (SPADPS) are also working within these (guidelines) as well as their own company policies and procedures for the current COVID-19 issues.”

That being said, since Thingyan, developers have had to deal with workers unable to return to Yangon as disruption to transport links has meant many workers have been forced to stay in their domestic provinces following the holiday break. Additionally, the pandemic affected productivity further by creating hurdles in the hiring process which has seen new employee numbers fall significantly, especially in those workers coming from abroad. Developers can continue construction without incurring major delays."

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