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Development opportunities in Asia

THE boom in urbanisation and infrastructure development in Asia is expected to present many new business opportunities. Based on a UN report, continuing population growth and urbanisation are projected to add 2.5 billion people to the world's cities by 2050, with nearly 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. India, China and Nigeria alone are expected to account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world's urban population between 2014 and 2050.

Within the region, Myanmar is seen as a promising market. The country registered strong GDP growth of 7.7 per cent last year, and attracted a record US$8 billion of Foreign Direct Investment. At the same time, the opportunities for urbanisation are considerable as only 30 per cent of the population lives in urban areas currently.

This is estimated to grow by at least 3 per cent year-on-year over the next five years. A recent PwC report showed that actual construction spending requested in the country between 2011 and 2012 exceeded initial estimates by 100 per cent, largely driven by infrastructure investments.

There is also a need to redevelop existing cities with more and better infrastructure developments such as enhanced demand for residential developments to house the population. More commercial and industrial developments, supporting amenities such as schools, education centres, institutions and universities as well as healthcare facilities will also be required. And as inter-connectivity across the region's cities and the world grows exponentially, there will be many opportunities for airport and port developments.