In its second memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony in the past week, the European Chamber of Commerce signed an agreement with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to help strengthen standards and encourage European investment in Cambodia’s real estate sector.
The MoU, signed at the ministry yesterday, will also look to develop human resources and professional standards of construction companies, developers, and project advisers, as well as limit the use of land in Kratie and Kampot provinces.
“All of these are priorities for the ministry and EuroCham was able to collaborate with us and strengthen cooperation as well,” said Pen Sophal, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management ,Urban Planning and Construction.
The MoU will be implemented by creating three technical working groups on cadastral or surveying activities, development of real estate and a construction group.
Emmanuel Menanteau, chairman of the EuroCham, said the working groups will help improve and strengthen legal standards, which would inform future prakas.
“We cannot possibly correct or amend the laws, but we just want to [enforce] a standard that the European countries need, or the investor groups and businessmen need,” Menanteau said.
“We just help to provide international standards, which will help attract investors from the European Union to the sector.”
Po Eav Kong, general manager of Asia Real Estate, said that while signing MoUs can be beneficial to the sector in creating awareness, there was no substitute for strong law enforcement.
“A barrier for attracting foreign investors is law enforcement, unless [Cambodia] has the legal conditions to protect for big investors, we can’t attract major foreign investors,” he said.
At a separate event on Friday, Eurocham signed an MoU with Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit, agreeing to help fight graft in the Kingdom.
Menanteau hoped that the ACU signing would also help lure European investors to the Kingdom.
“In short, the less corruption there will be in Cambodia, the more European investors will willingly join the market and contribute to economic growth, increased value added production, and overall development,” the Eurocham chairman said on Friday.