Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Yangon evolves quickly as Myanmar embraces the West

The easing of military rule in Myanmar has opened long-isolated Yangon to foreign investment that is reshaping the city. (Sean Pavone/

After decades under military dictatorship, Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, is modernizing swiftly as it pivots to the West.

Kate Mayberry reports for the BBC that hundreds of millions of U. S. dollars are being spent to improve water, transport and sewage systems.

Electricity is more reliable, though brownouts still occur, the article says. Once-quaint streets are jammed with vehicular traffic, while construction cranes dot the skyline. Economic and political measures initiated in 2010 encourage increased foreign investment that peaked last year at US$8 billion, Mayberry reports.

Today, Myanmar’s parliament elected the country’s first civilian president in half a century.

Despite the trend lines, Yangon and the rest of Myanmar remain a difficult place to conduct business. Corruption is rampant among former members of the military junta who now wield power over development and real estate decisions, the BBC says. Some even hold seats in parliament. Meanwhile, the underfunded court system is not independent and disputes over land ownership are common. 


More from Citiscope

Latest Commentary

This story is tagged under: