Increasing casino investment has brought the construction sector to provinces along Cambodia’s borders, World Bank (WB) senior economist for Cambodia Ly Sodeth said on Wednesday.
In the latest WB Cambodia Economic Update (CEU) report published on Wednesday, Sodeth said that the construction sector has boomed in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town and Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town, as well as in Preah Sihanouk province, due to an increase in casino investment.
“The construction sector has strong growth in Sihanoukville, Poipet and Bavet towns, so it is kind of shifting away from Phnom Penh. If you travel to Preah Sihanouk province, you will see it booming.
“Next year, the construction sector will continue to be resilient. However, Cambodia relies on foreign direct investment [FDI] in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and FDI growth is starting to slow,” Sodeth said.
The construction sector boom has led to an increase in steel imports, recording a year-on-year growth of 63.5 per cent as of June this year, compared with 27.7 per cent last year, according to the WB report.
Kim Heang, regional operating principal of Keller Williams Cambodia and CEO of Khmer Real Estate Co Ltd, said “construction has really soared in those three provinces”.
The government is pushing for increased efforts to attract more foreign investors along Cambodia’s borders.
Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet city has four special economic zones, with two currently in operation, and one industrial park in provincial capital Sisophon employing almost 20,000 workers.
Construction sector investment in Cambodia reached $6.5 billion in the first nine months of this year, with a year-on-year growth rate of 34.7 per cent compared to last year’s $4.8 billion, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
Approved construction projects also increased from 2,541 last year to 3,433 this year.