Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

Businesses and residences are seen along Phnom Penh’s riverside in 2013. Post staff
Businesses and residences are seen along Phnom Penh’s riverside in 2013. Post staff

Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing.

The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the Chroy Changvar bridge was reclassified from state-public land to state-private land last month, according to a royal decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and released in the first quarter of 2018’s royal book.

The royal decree consists of four articles granting the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) responsibility for managing the newly transitioned land.

Officials from both ministries were tight-lipped about why the reclassification was made or what the government planned to do with the space.

MEF spokesman Nup Sothun Vichet declined to comment on Monday and referred questions to the MPWT.

Ken Ratha, deputy director of the MPWT Cabinet, confirmed the content of the royal decree on Monday but said he had no details about the project.

MPWT spokesman Va Simsorya said he could not give out any details about what would happen to the riverfront area and instead repeated the content of the decree.

“In the past it was public-state land, and now it has become private-state land that is open to investment,” he said.

The reclassifying of state-public land to state-private land is a key step toward granting a long-term lease or economic land concession. Roughly the northern half of the designated area is already under the management of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP), a state-run agency, while the southern half is mostly a paved walkway where private riverboats dock. PPAP Director General Hei Bavy could not be reached for comment.

The riverfront real estate would likely fetch between $4,000 and $6,000 per square metre on the open market, according to Chrek Soknim, CEO of real estate firm Century 21 Mekong, making the potential value of the land up to $550 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked