Japanese steel and machinery trader, Okaya and Showa Sangyo, steel processor agreed to set up a joint venture with local construction firm, Bright Hand to manufacture reinforcing bars in Myanmar in anticipation of steady construction demand. They will set up Bright Showa Okaya Rebar Fabrication Co. in Yangon in April. Bright Hand will hold a 65% stake in the venture with capital of US$350,000 (K529.5 million), while Okaya and Showa will own 14.9% and 20.1% respectively. According to Okaya, 90% of reinforcing bars in Myanmar are processed at construction sites, cut and bent to meet building designs by workers with small devices, causing unstable quality and lack of space.
Showa will provide Japanese-made rebar processing facilities. Production capacity of factory will gradually increase over two years from 700 tonnes to 2000 tonnes per month. Okaya estimated that Myanmar needs an annual 400,000 to 500,000 tonnes of rebar for use in building construction although demand peaked in 2015, posting a year-on-year drop in 2018.