The government on October 12 set up an inter-institutional commission tasked with resolving the issue of unfinished buildings in Preah Sihanouk province, most of which are owned by Chinese investors,

This is according to a Council of Ministers letter issued on the same date addressed to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and seen by The Post on November 2.

There are between 80 and 100 unfinished buildings in the coastal province, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction’s administration chief, Seng Lot, told a press conference on August 24.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche confirmed that he is a commission member, and that the finance ministry would hold an event with private sector partners and other stakeholders at the end of this month to formulate a policy around the unfinished building issue.

A series of unfinished buildings, as seen in Sihanoukville last year. Hong Menea

“This work is important to prop up economic development and the image of the province, as well as ensure safety at these buildings. We hope that it will help turn Preah Sihanouk into a Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone, in a process guided by a master plan currently under study,” he told The Post on November 2.

Speaking to The Post on the same day, Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association president Chrek Soknim suggested two key measures to remedy the issue.

“First, select independent arbitrators from the private real estate sector with licences and the specific skills to mediate between property owners and investors.

“Second, if the investor leasing the land abandons [the project], grant the independent arbitrator the right to find a new investor,” he said, noting that these measures are common around the world.