Pan Pacific opens second Myanmar hotel

A Singapore hotel group has opened its first hotel in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw amid rising tourism and foreign business investment in the country.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed UOL Group, opened the Parkroyal Nay Pyi Taw with 90 rooms on Tuesday.

The hotel will add an additional 90 rooms by the end of this year.

This is the company's second hotel in Myanmar after Parkroyal Yangon, a 331-room hotel, which opened in 2001.

Yangon is Myanmar's former capital. Naypyidaw, about 300km north of Yangon, was made the capital in 2005.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group chief executive Bernold O. Schroeder said the group "is keen to capitalise on business opportunities within the flourishing tourism sector".

The number of tourist arrivals in Myanmar is projected to increase sevenfold from last year to almost 7.5 million by 2020, according to a report released last year by the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Global technology and services giant Bosch has used supporting tourism infrastructure as a means to gain a foothold in Myanmar.

Bosch has supplied technology such as fire detectors and video security systems to buildings such as Yangon International Airport and Traders Hotel Yangon.

The company also cited the growing consumer market in the country as a reason for increasing its presence in Myanmar.

According to a study by the Asian Development Bank in 2012, Myanmar's economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7 per cent to 8 per cent - becoming a middle-income nation and tripling its per capita income by 2030 - after introducing a series of major reforms in the last few years.

Bosch opened its first representative office in Yangon last year.

"Our operation in Myanmar is growing," said Bosch South-east Asia president Martin Hayes in an e-mail reply to The Straits Times.

"Bosch remains committed to staying in Myanmar for the long term, to develop our business... alongside the country's growth," he added.

IE Singapore Yangon centre director Ng Cheong Yew said broad-based reforms and economic liberalisation by Myanmar's government have helped to build a conducive business environment for foreign investors, prompting greater interest among Singapore companies.

Singapore is Myanmar's third- largest trade partner with bilateral trade worth $3 billion last year, 70 per cent more than in 2012, according to IE Singapore.

The trade agency plans to promote Singapore investment in Myanmar through hosting events, such as last month's business dialogue involving chief ministers from the various regions in Myanmar and trade and industry leaders from Singapore.

Another event supported by IE Singapore to promote investment in Myanmar is the inaugural BuildTechYangon2014.

The event is organised by Sphere exhibits - a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings - and is also supported by the Singapore Business Federation.

It will be held at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon from May 22 to May 24 this year.

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This article was published on April 3 in The Straits Times.

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