THE value of construction projects granted the go-ahead by the Cambodian government has fallen nearly 70 percent in value in the first nine months this year, compared to the same period 2009.
A report yesterday from Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction showed 1,718 projects worth US$508 million were approved in the first nine months, down 69.73 percent from 1,805 projects worth $1.678 billion for last year.
“The construction sector has not gotten better over the first nine months of the year,” said Ministry construction department director Lao Tip Seiha.
However, a new sub-decree allowing foreign citizens to own up to 70 percent of units in a development could provide a boost to the industry, he said.
“I hope that capital investment for construction projects this year will increase because of new government policies to strengthen the construction sector,” he said. “The new policies are increasing the confidence of investors.”
The construction sector in Cambodia is still feeling the affects of the global financial crisis, according to Ministry spokeswoman Nun Pheany.
Investors and developers were waiting for a firmer economic situation before investing in construction – particularly for larger projects.
The number of residential projects was increasing in the Kingdom, but investment projects had not shown signs up resurgence, she said.
“It has not been a good first nine months for the construction sector,” she said.
Work on the prominent Gold Tower 42 building on the corner of Sihanouk and Monivong Boulevards temporarily halted in September, while construction at several other large project sites around the Kingdom have never begun.
Previous figures from the MLM show project approvals already fell 47.38 percent in 2009 from the $3.19 billion schemes approved in 2008.