Major Japanese retailer Aeon has decided to postpone its $180 million shopping mall project in Myanmar due to the political turmoil in the country, according to NHK reports.
Aeon planned to start the construction process this year and expected to open the mall by 2023.
The project is a joint venture between Aeon Mall Co., Ltd and Shwe Taung Real Estate Co., Ltd, the real estate arm of Shwe Taung Group. In the joint-venture company called Aeon Mall Myanmar Co., Ltd, Shwe Taung will hold a 30 percent stake while Aeon Mall holds the rest.
Aeon Mall Myanmar Co., Ltd. will develop the first AEON MALL in Myanmar on a 17.632 acre of land at the corner of Shwe Li Road and Ayeyarwun Road, Dagon Seikkan Township, Yangon. The 5-story shopping mall will have a gross floor area of about 1.2 million square feet and 2,300 parking lots.
NHK reports that Aeon hasn’t decided on a new schedule but has no intention of canceling the project, as it sees considerable growth potential in Myanmar.
Japanese investments in Myanmar have been gradually increasing following the 2011 transition a civilian government after decades of military rule. Japan is the ninth biggest investor in Myanmar investing nearly $2 billion in. Japanese companies made $60.42 million of investment in the 2016-17 fiscal year, 64.17 million in 2017-18, 42.78 million in 2018-19, and over $700 million in 2019-2020.
At the moment, Japan, unlike its allies like the United States, has not imposed any sanctions on the Myanmar military leaders who staged the coup overthrowing the democratically elected civilian government and has killed over 800 people during its oppression against protestors and political dissidents.