Asian Property Review explores the last frontier in property investment in Asia where the returns can be high but so can the risks. Do you dare to be one of the early birds who will reap the biggest benefits yet endure all the hardships of a market fresh from wars or economic/geographical isolation? Three of the most promising markets come to mind – Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Mongolia.
A nod to the huge potential of Sri Lanka and Myanmar was when both countries were ranked among Asia-Pacific’s top 10 foreign direct investment (FDI) hotspots, according to a study by US-based global information company, IHS Inc.
Judging from recent events, there are only two factors that might derail Sri Lanka’s potential as the next Dubai or Singapore – reversal of favourable policies for foreigners due to a change of government or imposing tough restrictions on foreign investments including property ownership laws. Other than that, if the island state were to follow through with transparent and progressive policies which it seems determined to do so, it would leapfrog over its South Asian neighbours in a matter of months.
In fact, Sri Lanka which has a population of 22 million is already ranked as the most liberalized economy in South Asia. And due to its strategic location, right in the middle of the Maritime Silk Road (part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative) where an estimated 60,000 ships pass through every year, carrying two-thirds of the world’s oil and half of all container shipments, it is the target of three Asian superpowers hoping to gain a foothold there. Among them – China, Japan and India, China is the one set to emerge the biggest winner – the early bird who will reap massive returns later when more converge to the island nation.