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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampot awakens from slumber

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An artisitc rendition of the proposed French Riviera Marina. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Kampot awakens from slumber

A hushed coastal town overshadowed by its more popular counterparts Sihanoukville and Kep, Kampot town is now drawing attention from investors and is slowly changing its face into a more active city with the planned building of houses and commercial centres.

In October, amidst doubts, a $23.2 billion investment project was given a rubber-stamp approval by Hing Thoraxy from the Council of Ministers and a senior researcher at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP).

The project – dubbed the ‘French Riviera Marina’ – is designed to turn Kampot and neighbouring Kep province into city centres brimming with residential, commercial and tourism-focused projects.

The project, which is supposed to break ground this year according to official government documents, shows a 4.16-hectare multipurpose tourism resort and a 144-hectare marina that straddles the border between Kep and Kampot province financed by Pallas Brilliant Investment and Development Co Ltd – a company that claims to be developing resorts in Thailand and Vietnam as well.

Post Property was unable to get an update on the status of the project, with Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, unable to shed light on its review of the proposed development. However, he was able to confirm that the project has not been given the official green light from the council. While it is uncertain when and how the French Riviera Marina project will come to fruition, smaller and more realistic developments are picking up.

Chan Chesda, Kampot’s governor, said on the phone this week that the government was encouraging residential developments in Kampot.

“If this project goes as planned, we very much appreciate it as this project is going to attract more tourists to this province; hence, I’m requesting all the private companies to join and build more hotels and guest houses,” he said.

Other property developers are also eyeing this southern tip of Cambodia for development, with Peung Serey, executive president of Cambodia Angkor Real Estate – who has divided a 4-hectare piece of land into plots for sale and has invested about $4 million in the Chung Kreal commune of Kampot province for the purpose of building luxury villas – saying the coastal province was primed for re-development.

Kampot is home to seven districts, including Teuk Chhou, Chum Kiri, Dong Tung and Kampong Trach, while Kampot town is home to about 70,000 people.

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