Mu Aye Pu Free City Project

Thursday, 9 April 2020 – by Nigel Grier (IDPM)

Mu Aye Pu, located in the Karen State of Burma (Myanmar), is ready for private development and investment should local conditions provide improved governance, economic stability and financial viability.

IDPM looks forward to seeing projects go into construction, open and become profitable in Mu Aye Pu – a town affected by 60 years of conflict.

Unfortunately, the Mu Aye Pu – Free City project that IDPM was engaged to provide Project Development Services on, while shown to have potential, was unable to move past planning given current local economic factors.

Investors in this project (through the Mu Aye Pu Development Corporation – MAP-DC) own the intellectual property and architectural plans to commence the town’s development should the political, economic and social circumstances improve to create a commercially viable project opportunity.

I am saddened that individuals are putting personal vendettas ahead of furthering what could be a very successful project for the Karen people.

This highlights the many risks associated with impact investment and the importance of investors’ patience, maturity and commercial acumen.


The Mu Aye Pu-Free City Project was a development opportunity that IDPM project managed on behalf of Karen Enterprises Pte. Ltd.

Karen Enterprises Pte. Ltd. is a for-profit social enterprise registered in Singapore, working with Karen communities in Thailand and the Karen State of Burma.

Karen Enterprises Pte. Ltd. was founded by:

  • Kurt Hanson
  • Nerdah Mya
  • Nigel Grier

Each consortia member has been individually responsible for communicating to their investors the purpose, scope and risks of the Private Placement.

Each investor has been provided with an Offering Memorandum and, to become a shareholder, signed the Subscription and Risk Agreement documents.

Stage 1 of this project was funded through Mu Aye Pu – Development Corporation (MAP-DC) investors. No further stages of the project have received investment, and no additional components of the Mu Aye Pu- Free City Project have moved passed concept development.

Most Stage 1 MAPDC project outcomes – those funded by investors – were completed by December 2018. Investors have been provided with updates regarding this package of works. This work includes Master Planning by Tay Kheng Soon, a Singaporean architect.

The final step in Stage 1 of the MAPDC project was the execution of the concession for a parcel of land for the project.

This stage of the project was to be funded by IDPM.

Due to local failures in project governance, economic instability and a lack of financial viability, IDPM decided the risks in continuing the project were too great at the time. The project is currently on hiatus, pending resolution of probity and risk issues.

The Stage 2 Private Placement Karen Tourism Holdings – Karen Hotel School and Mu Aye Pu Guesthouse has not gone ahead. Investors who have provided funds towards this project phase either have received or can receive a refund of their investments.

Nigel Grier