Construction sector grows despite economic crisis

Construction sector grows despite economic crisis

What meltdown? Spending on construction grows 38 percent in first nine months of 2008

INVESTMENT in construction projects in Cambodia increased 38 percent in the first nine months of 2008, compared to the same period last year, said Lao Tip Seiha, director of the Construction Department in the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

Investment in the construction sector grew to nearly US$2.2 billion dollars during the nine-month period, compared to nearly $1.6 billion in 2007, Lao Tip Seiha said.

"In just one month, I received 95 new projects from both Cambodian and foreign investors, a good result for the construction sector," he told Prime Location.

Sok Sina, an economic researcher with the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, confirmed that the construction sector had become a driver for the economy and a major employer.

Sok Sina predicted that the global financial crisis would not impact the Cambodian construction sector heavily because the Kingdom was not integrated with US financial markets.

Lao Tip Seiha agreed that the global financial crisis would not interfere with progress in Cambodia's construction sector or lead to job losses.

A stable political and economic environment, and growing demand for office and apartment space continued to attracted both domestic and international real estate development companies to invest in high-rise developments, he noted, with many investors seeking licences to develop properties.

The strong construction sector, in turn, was continuing to contribute to economic growth and stability, he said. creating more jobs for Cambodians. He confirmed that the sector currently employs 45,000 to 50,000 workers nationwide.

"Workers with no skills can earn $4 per day, while skilled workers can earn $150 to $250 per month, and architects and engineers from $600 to $1,200 per month," he said.

Sok Sovandeith, president of the National Federation of Building and Wood Workers, agreed that the fast-growing construction sector was creating jobs and strengthening the Cambodian economy, but he urged employers in the sector to ensure safety and wages for construction workers.

Price watch
Construction materials

Steel rods were selling in Phnom Penh markets at 3,523 riels ($0.88)

per kilogram on Tuesday, a rise of 60.14 percent over the base price

for the year, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce’s

Trade Promotion Department. Cement continued to sell at an average of

19,814 riels per sack, an increase of 23.84 percent over the year’s

base price.

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