Chinese company to build new city by Yangon

Chinese company to build new city by Yangon

SAM Staff,
Mahabandoola Road in Yangon. Regional officials have signed a contract for a new city across the river from Yangon. Photo: AFP

A Chinese company that has signed an agreement with the Yangon regional government to build a new city across the river from the old one has been embroiled in many controversies, the Myanmar website Irrawaddy reported on March 4.

The 20,000-acre New Yangon City will be twice the size of Singapore and is one of several projects in Myanmar that are part of China’s ambitious, trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

The investment for the first phase of the scheme, mostly infrastructure projects, is US$1.5 billion, The Irrawaddy reported.

The Myanmar website went on to allege that the Hong Kong-listed, China-owned company which has been awarded the contract, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), has been accused of irregularities in at least 10 countries, among them the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kenya and Tanzania.

CCCC was sanctioned by the World Bank from January 2009 until January 2017 due to “fraudulent bidding practices,” The Irrawaddy reported.

However, the Yangon Region chief minister Phyo Min Thein has said that the Yangon New City project will create a large number of jobs and deepen the friendship between Myanmar and China.

The framework agreement between the government of the Yangon Region and CCCC was signed in April last year. The ceremony was attended by Phyo Min Thein, Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Hong Liang, CCCC president Chen Fenjian and CCCC’s subsidiary China Harbor Engineering Company president Tang Qiaoliang.