Construction recovery spurs Kingdom’s material imports

Construction recovery spurs Kingdom’s material imports

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Construction workers apply a coating of sealant to the outside of a building in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district in August.

The increasing size of construction projects and individual developments in the Kingdom has led to a 184.7 per cent growth in construction material imports in the last nine months, according to Lao Tip Seiha, director of department construction of Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction.

“In the first nine months we saw that the size of many projects surpassed 3,000 square metres, especially those invested in by local investors such as housing projects, hotels, factories and warehouses, he said adding that he hoped the positive growth experienced since the sector’s recovery from 2008 downturn would continue.

“I strongly believe that the value of imported construction materials will continue to increase as the sector recovery continues.”

Ministry of Commerce figures obtained by the Post yesterday show 536,969 tonnes of materials, worth a combined US$467 million entered the Kingdom between January and September, compared to 331,324 tonnes worth $164 million.

Some experts acknowledged that the restart of delayed projects has also attributed to the import growth.

“We saw the increase because of the demand for individual housing projects and also construction has started again at a number of delayed developments,” Khmer Construction Building Materials Co General Manager So Chandara said yesterday.

He added that the company’s sales of steel and cement had increased throughout the year.

A total of 1,470 projects were approved in the first nine months of 2011. Although the number of construction projects declined from 1,580 in 2010, the value soared from $458.4 million to $881.3, this year.

Daniel Parkes, Country Manager of CBRE Cambodia told the Post yesterday that these figures reflected the decline in property and land speculation.

“Asian speculation has finished. In the last few years we saw an increase in the volume of purchases, but reality is now being restored to sector,” he said.

He added that there has been an “up-tick in serious interest in Cambodia in 2011.”
However, Cheng Kheng, Managing Director of Cambodia Property Limited yesterday warned that while the value of projects has increased, large scale developments are still struggling to rebound from the
downturn.

“Our research shows that there has been more activity in the first nine months of 2011, this is a good sign for the year, and it should continue, but many projects remain delayed.”

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