Cambodian Ambassador to South Korea Long Dimanche confirmed that a delegation from the South Korean prime minister’s cabinet had already met with a representative of Cambodia to talk about Busan Mutual Savings Bank’s 670 billion won ($577 million) settlement over the Camko City satellite development project.
The visit comes after Yoo Dong-soo, assistant to the State Affairs Committee and a member of the Democratic Party of South Korea on October 16 requested the cabinet to seek relief for the bank’s 38,891 victims.
Dimanche told The Post on Wednesday that he had received confirmation from both Korea Deposit Insurance Corp (KDIC) and World City Co Ltd – owners of the project – that the South Korean delegation had already met to deal with the issue.
“World City has shown its intention to iron out the situation. However, due to the court case, the embassy cannot do anything besides collect the documents and information on the case. We know that the issue has been taken to court and we are waiting for a solution.”
Government spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post on Wednesday that he has not received any information about the issue.
Neither Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong nor Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth could be reached for comment.
Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction spokesman Seng Lot said the South Korean delegation did not request to meet him.
“I read the news about their plan to come to Cambodia. But I don’t know the details of the visit as it is the South Korean firm’s internal issue,” he said.
Camko City originally faced three court cases, he said. While the first had been resolved, the other two, despite being reviewed multiple times by the Phnom Penh municipal administration, remains unsettled.
Regarding the delay in the project’s development, Lot said the ministry has been trying to resolve the issue.
“We keep pushing for it to be resolved but when we previously facilitated a dialogue between the conflicting parties, an agreement could not be reached. We’ve decided not to get involved anymore,” he said.
World City invested $2 billion to develop Camko City on 119ha in the capital’s Tuol Sangke II commune. However, construction of the project had been sporadic.
The satellite city began its first phase in 2007 – a combination of villas, flats, condos and shophouses. But once 441 condos were built, delays began in 2010. Construction resumed in mid-2012.
World City had earlier run into problems after the 2008 financial crisis prompted the collapse in 2011 of its South Korean banking partner, Busan Savings Bank.