India-based hospitality and real estate firm Supreme Holdings & Hospitality has announced plans to invest $1 billion in Cambodia over the next five years, with an initial investment of $100 million expected this year.
The firm, part of the Jatia Group in India, said it will look at investments in the hospitality, real estate and food and beverage sector, however, it did not divulge details of these projects.
Vidip Jatia, director for development at Supreme Holdings, said on Tuesday that the group’s investment in Cambodia was aimed at replicating its successes in India.
“Initially, we will invest in the hotel sector in Phnom Penh because we have similar experiences in India,” he said. “We are also looking at the food sector and will look to bring in some franchises here as well.”
Despite announcing plans for a massive investment, Jatia said it was too early to give specifics on the project. He said the group first planned to conduct a detailed market study to hone their investment options.
“We feel that Cambodia will be a crucial country in ASEAN, so we want to provide the supporting real estate assets and services to make this a reality,” he said.
The company has so far not made an application to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), he said, given that the project was still in the initial phases.
“It is very crucial for us to understand and narrow down our focus,” Jatia said.
Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary general at the CDC, said he was unaware of the India firm’s announcement, but welcomed the interest.
“I don’t know about what they have announced or if they submitted the project to the CDC,” he said. “However, there is still a demand in the hospitality market.”
The Indian government, through its ‘Act East’ policy, has encouraged private-sector firms to invest in the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) region, and last year announced that $12 million of taxpayer money will be used to facilitate these investments.
Apart from geopolitical considerations, the ‘Act East’ policy looks to encourage firms to set up in the region to gain easier access to the Chinese market.