The Kingdom’s working group for the eagerly-awaited Cambodia-Korea Friendship Bridge that will link Phnom Penh across the Mekong River to Kandal province’s Arey Ksat area continues to wait for the South Korean side to send a team to begin discussions, according to an official.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in in November announced that his country would assist the Kingdom in the construction of the bridge. His remark comes in response to a request from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a visit to South Korea early in February.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport undersecretary of state Vasim Sorya told The Post on January 20 that Covid-19 has pushed back the long-overdue meeting between the two countries’ working groups.
With no preliminary assessment yet available, he said the meeting would determine the exact location, schedule, budget, construction methods and other details of the project.
He pointed out, however, that the area near the Svay Chrum-Arey Ksat ferry port on the eastern side of the Chroy Changvar peninsula in northeastern Phnom Penh has been a noteworthy proposition.
“Cambodia has already set up a working group for the project to build the bridge from Phnom Penh to the Arey Ksat, and we are still waiting for the Korean side to arrive.
“As for the construction timeline, it is not yet possible to say when it will start. They’ll need more time to study the construction techniques and budget,” Sorya said.
Global Real Estate Association president Sam Soknoeun said news of Korean backing for the bridge accelerated real estate transactions but did not increase property values.
He said: “Arey Ksat is a top-notch location that investors shouldn’t overlook – there’ll be rapid development once there’s a bridge connecting it to the centre of Phnom Penh.
“As the bridge project was announced during the Covid-19 outbreak, land prices in Arey Ksat did not soar as they had in the beginning of 2020, only sales were markedly busier than before.”
Soknoeun said the average price for prime land in Arey Ksat along the Mekong River is around $1,000 per sqm, residential plots go for around $300 per sqm, while land for large developments cost from $180-250.
But adding a word of caution, Sorya said: “Land prices in Arey Ksat will jump as soon as construction of the bridge begins, which will rise as high as those in the Chroy Changvar area currently are.”