Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sihanoukville in the dark over Ariston cash

Sihanoukville in the dark over Ariston cash

Sihanoukville in the dark over Ariston cash

T HE controversial $1.3 billion Ariston deal to develop a casino and

infrastructure in Sihanoukville has caused barely a ripple in the southern

province.

Governor Thoan Bun Sron has been told practically nothing about

the deal.

He had only heard in passing that Ariston was refurbishing the casino ship

Heritage that will be operating in Phnom Penh.

"Is that true?" he asked.

"They have been allowed to bring a ship into Phnom Penh... what happened to

Sihanoukville?"

"The primary aims of the deal is for here

(Sihanoukville), not there ( in Phnom Penh ),"Bun Sron said.

Still the

province is waiting for the first dollar to be invested there.

"I can

understand the big investors waiting to see who is coming here first, to see

maybe if anyone gets burned or not," he said.

However, Bun Sron said that should Ariston "spend $100 million

straightway...that will create a big spin-of."

Any expenditure in

electricity supply, sewage, roading, "anything, we are just waiting who will be

first to come. We know some (companies) want to come... they are just not sure,"

he said.

Since the Ariston deal was singed three company representatives

had visited on a courtesy call. "Hopefully they will be coming back soon to

start something serious."

"I don't know if Ariston is required (under

the deal) to have time limits or deadlines, I just don't know."

Meanwhile, But Sron said he had been told that three Cambodian

province-Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh muncipality and Siem Reap-would soon be

allowed to collect their own revenue from local taxes.

"We get no help

from Phnom Penh. We have asked but they are unable to provide us with material

assistance," he said.

Currently, all local revenue goes to central

government coffers. Provinces submit development proposals for financial

approval.

"This has caused a lot of delays and difficulties," he said

He said that even projects as small as repairing a one kilometer stretch

of local road had to be costed and approved from Phnom Penh.

"This system

has to be changed. I'm told the government is looking to change it this year,"

he said, referring to the above three areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from