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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese firm in talks to build market in capital

Chinese firm in talks to build market in capital

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081209_13.jpg

The proposed US$81 million development would be built at Phsar Chas park by Overseas Cambodian Investment Corp and Canadia Bank

Photo by: Heng Chivoan

The proposed site for a future market development that would include an underground carpark.

THE Phnom Penh Municipality is in talks with a foreign investment firm to develop a new market and underground carpark in Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district, a municipal official told the Post Sunday.

Municipal Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong said the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corp Ltd (OCIC), a Chinese investment group, in partnership with Canadia Bank, proposed the US$81 million project on a five-hectare section of Phsar Chas park.

"I have already met with OCIC representatives to discuss the project and to assess the possible impacts and benefits for local residents," he said, adding that the new market and parking structure was expected to ease traffic in the area.

The proposed market coincides with development projects in the area by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency to upgrade drainage throughout the city, and in particular at Phsar Chas.

"The existing municipal park and nearby night market will be unaffected because the company will be simply digging into the ground," Pa Socheatvong said.

"The project is new, and we will need time to study it before seeking permission from the government and the [Council for the Development of Cambodia]," he said.

Rein Samrith, an investment official at OCIC, said his working group submitted project plans to the municipality on Friday in a preliminary move to acquire official permission.

"We plan to build a two-storey building nine metres high and partially underground. The first floor will house sellers, and the ground floor will feature an underground carpark, which is our main construction project," Rein Samrith said.

He added that construction of the new market would come alongside ongoing efforts to upgrade Kandal market, which he said was contracted to a French firm that has, to date, produced no results.

Vendors at Kandal will be relocated to the new market upon completion, allowing for Kandal market stalls to be renovated, Rein Samrith said. He added that vendors would be given the option to stay at the new market or return to Kandal once renovations are complete.

"If we get permission from the government and related ministries, our development plans will take about four or five years to complete," he said.

Im Chamrong, director general for the Construction Department at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said the government was proceeding with caution.

"This is a very new development for our country, so our ministry will spend considerable time studying the project plans," Im Chamrong said.

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