Members of US-based AREAA Global have shown keen interest in the rapid development and investment opportunities in Cambodia, committing to share these positive aspects with their nearly 20,000 members globally.

AREAA Global chairman Allen Chiang and CEO Carmen Chong made the remarks after attending the “UpClose Cambodia” event, along with AREAA (Cambodia) CEO Sor Thida and over 40 national and international investors, on February 24 in Phnom Penh. 

The event featured presentations by Cambodian experts on a variety of topics for foreign investors, including the country’s general situation, investment and tax laws, transport infrastructure and its ability to handle remittances in international currencies.

The institution trains over 18,000 investors worldwide across 51 nationalities and 26 languages and incorporated Cambodia into its network in 2024 after more than five years of concerted effort, as per the company. 

Chong stated at the event that her first visit to the Kingdom was aimed at assessing its general economic climate and investment opportunities. 

She noted that the trip allowed the firm’s leadership to observe the numerous prospects and potential in the country, which in turn they would use to instil confidence in foreign investors, particularly the institution’s members, to explore and capitalise on opportunities.

“What we are directly witnessing now markedly differs from the negative news we’ve previously encountered. The political and economic situation in Cambodia is significantly better than we anticipated. We aim to promote this and hope to attract more foreign investors to Cambodia,” Chong stated.

Chiang, with his extensive experience in evaluating investment situations in various countries, considers Cambodia a favourable destination for trade and the real estate market. 

He emphasised that the group’s mission extends beyond business, including humanitarian efforts to aid the poor.

“Through our visit to Cambodia, we intend to promote it to AREAA Global members and anticipate more frequent visits by them to explore investment opportunities here,” he stated.

Thida thanked the institution’s leadership for their visit and committed to promoting Cambodian investment opportunities among their members. 

She highlighted this as a matter of national pride, noting that while many countries strive to attract the company’s leaders to disseminate information, as Cambodia is currently doing, the achievement owes much to government support.

“On behalf of the Cambodian people, we have exerted considerable effort to convey to them the potential that Cambodia holds and hope that the information we provide is comprehensive,” she said.

Thida announced that in the future, the institution’s Cambodia arm plans to organise more such events to attract additional foreign financers to invest in and order goods from the country.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance reported that from January to November 2023, the government, through the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, approved 3,142 projects, covering an area of 12.69 million square metres, representing an investment of $5.255 billion.

Although the number of projects decreased by 684 compared to the same period in 2022, there was a notable increase in both the total development area and capital investment, which rose by 92.8% and 99.7% respectively.

In November alone, 218 projects were sanctioned, covering an area of 362,517sqm with an investment totalling $145.7 million.

“The construction sector’s status in November was slightly better than in the previous month, while at the beginning of 2023, there was a significant recovery,” stated the ministry. 

The National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) most recent report indicated that construction grew by 1.1% last year, compared with 0.5% in 2022, noting that the growth was bolstered by the development of public infrastructure including bridges, airports and expressways.

There was a slight increase of 4.7% in imports of construction materials and equipment in 2023, a decrease from the previous year’s growth of 25.6%.

The area and cost of approved construction projects, particularly residential and state ventures, showed an increase, despite a 20.5% decrease in the total number of projects.

The real estate sector experienced modest growth of 0.5%, a slight improvement from 0.2% in 2022. While sales of homes, including apartments and twin and single villas, fell by 49.7%, condo sales saw a rise of 2%.

The Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) witnessed a decrease of 2.4%, with a 3.2% decline in Phnom Penh and an increase of 3.2% in the provinces, as per the ministry.