The construction sector in Cambodia, especially large construction projects, has shown significant recovery in the second quarter, with 826 investment projects and a total investment of $1.5 billion approved by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

The approved capital investment is an increase of 130.2 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2022, although total projects were down by 173 projects from last year, according to a report by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

The report, viewed by The Post, stated that between April and June 2023, the MLMUPC approved housing construction projects with a capital investment of $607.5 million, which accounted for the lion’s share, followed by industrial construction ($568.5 million), commercial construction ($249 million), public construction ($87.1 million) and tourism-related construction ($79.6 million).

For the month of June, 187 construction projects were approved, up 20.3 per cent from June 2022, with a capital investment of $440.4 million - an increase of 92.1 per cent, the ministry said.

The MEF has projected that Cambodia’s economy will grow at 5.6 per cent in 2023, higher than in 2022. The expansion would be supported by the continuing growth in non-garment manufacturing, which serves the export market and domestic consumption, the rise of large investment projects and construction proposals, and the significant recovery of tourism.

Cambodia Constructors Association general manager Chiv Sivpheng told The Post that the construction sector in Cambodia has gradually improved since the beginning of the second quarter, with many new and large investment project owners applying for investment permits from the MLMUPC.

He said there was an obvious difference in the beginning of the year and in the last few months, which is the positive number of foreign investors returning to invest in the construction sector in Cambodia.

“With the improvement of the political situation and steady economic growth, I am optimistic that the growth of investment in the construction sector would become better soon,” he said, asserting that the construction sector would once again play an important role in boosting the economy.

Last week, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) issued a final certificate of registration to Huale Steel (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $40 million investment project in the Sihanoukville Port Special Economic Zone. In August, the CDC approved a $258 million cement plant for Conch KT Cement (Phnom Penh) Co Ltd in Kampong Speu province’s Oral district.

According to the MEF, in 2022, the total projects approved for construction amounted to 4,275, down 28 projects, with a total capital investment of nearly $3 billion, down 46.8 per cent compared to 2021.