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Svay Rieng and Prey Veng neglected by investors

At the Bavet border, which is part of Svay Rieng province. Photo supplied
At the Bavet border, which is part of Svay Rieng province. Photo supplied

Svay Rieng and Prey Veng neglected by investors

After the massive development of Cambodia’s longest bridge, the Neak Loeung Bridge, in 2015, little else has been happening on the infrastructure front in Prey Veng. Meanwhile, its neighbouring province, Svay Rieng, is also in the same position of grappling with a lack of any major developments by foreign investors.

Leap Phirun, governor of Prey Veng city, said the province had been overlooked by international investors, despite Prey Veng having the capacity for developments in tourism, culture, and education.
Prey Veng city has three sangkats with a population of about 26,000 people.

Phirun continued that the only forms of real estate transactions occurring in the province were small ones among families.

Hout Thida, a resident in Ponh Rey Veng city, Prey Veng, shared the same sentiments, telling Post Property earlier this week that her home province, while reaping the benefits of an improved living standard and various local infrastructure projects, had yet to capture the attention of foreign investors and developers.

Nevertheless, there’s a first for everything as evident by a family-run business that has debuted in Prey Veng selling plotted land from its 10-hectare piece of land. Thida said the plots of land could sell anywhere from $9,000 for a 105-square metre plot of land to $20,000 for land measuring 378 square metres.

Similar to Prey Veng, Svay Rieng hasn’t been that fortunate when it comes to investment buzzes, despite the sudden burst of land purchasing in Bavet, the province’s border city, a few years back.

Sarith, a journalist living in Svay Rieng city, said the swarm of real estate transactions in the past had long ceased, lulling the city into inactivity. Because of this, the special economic zones (SEZs) in the province are experiencing a slight bump in the factories’ production chain.

“The selling and buying of land properties is very quiet these days; even casinos are closing down one by one because there are literally no customers at times,” he said.

Nevertheless, Kim Heang, head of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA), and a native of Bavet city, which is the largest city in Svay Rieng province, is a bit more optimistic about the future prospects of Svay Rieng city. According to Heang, the business of selling plotted or dissected lands is garnering a substantial amount of interest and profit.

On the other hand, traditional land sales have taken a plummet. Land property that used to cost $300 per square metre a few years back now cost $150. However, even the price cut is making it hard pressed to appeal to buyers.

Heang continued, “The demand for land for hotels and casinos is currently depleted; however, there is some activity for land properties of $10 per metre square due to demands of building new factories.”

Rous Pharin, head of administration of Svay Rieng province, said Svay Rieng has yet to acquire much development in the construction and commercial buildings department. However, a SEZ in Bavet – for which Pharin could not provide a name – has accumulated to 155 enterprises and companies which provide jobs to some 50,000 people.

“If we’re looking at land transaction activity, we can see some of it happening only in the special economic zones; and the pricing of those lands depends on the actual demands of each location.”

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