Cambodia’s construction approvals soar

Cambodia’s construction approvals soar

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Workers balance on scaffolding at the site of the US$70 million Rose City Condominiums yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo by: MENG KIMLONG

Workers balance on scaffolding at the site of the US$70 million Rose City Condominiums yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo by: MENG KIMLONG

CONSTRUCTION approvals granted by government authorities have increased 93 percent in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period last year, figures show.

Some 1,079 potential projects worth US$637.7 million were given the go-ahead in the January to June period, compared with 1,094 construction projects worth $329.1 million approved last year, according to Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction figures obtained on Tuesday.

The ministry’s Construction Department Director Lao Tip Seiha said that the ministry had approved a number of larger construction projects such as housing developments, apartments, factories, and tourist facilities in the first six months.

“The number of construction projects approved in the first half was less than the previous year, but we’re seeing lots of larger construction approvals for projects with bigger values,” he said.

The approvals are expected to lead to more construction projects in the second half of the year, said Lao Tip Seiha.

“The sector has been boosted in the first half of the year,” he said. “Some construction sites are worried about looking for workers, because they’re fleeing back home to work on rice farming.”
Labour force inconsistencies can be amended by more awareness and availability of vocational training, said insiders.

“An increase in the availability of international-standard vocational training, similar to qualifications provided by City & Guilds, in the Kingdom would benefit the sector’s labour force,” said Sterling Project Management Chief Executive Officer Gary Sterling.

With the subsidence of the economic crisis and the optimistic outlook of the property sector, other experts believe it to is the right time to resume construction of stalled housing developments.

“It’s time for them to restart construction after three years’ of being affected by the world crisis,” Bonna Realty Group President Sung Bonna said. “We see that some developers are preparing to start work, while others have begun their projects,”

Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction data revealed that 2,149 construction projects worth $840 million were given the green light in 2010, compared to 2,230 projects worth a combined $1.988 billion in 2009. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LIAM BARNES

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