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Encouragement for foreign projects to push ahead

Encouragement for foreign projects to push ahead

090325_17p2.jpg
090325_17p2.jpg

Photo by: SOEUN SAY

Secretary of State for Ministry of Land Management Urban and Construction Phoeung Sophoan with Vice President of Camko City DK Kim.

Government officials have been visiting major foreign-funded construction sites in Phnom Penh over the last few weeks in order to persuade developers to push ahead with their plans despite the impact of the global financial crisis.

Ministry of Land Management Secretary of State Phoeung Sophoan visited the 119-hectare Camko City development on the outskirts of Phnom Penh on Thursday.

Owned by South Korea's World City, the development was initially slated to cost $2 billion and be finished in 2018, but concerns have risen that the developer may be considering scaling back its ambitious plans.

"Today, we came here to strengthen the relationship and persuade the Korean investors they should feel good about the prospects of their projects," Phoeung Sophoan told Prime Location Thursday.

Camko City Vice President DK Kim brushed aside concerns and said the second phase of the development would be launched as planned later this year when phase one was completed.

The US$109 million initial phase included 1,009 townhouses, villas and condominiums, 85 percent of which had already been bought, Kim said.

Kim denied rumours that the Ministry of Economy and Finance were considering moving its proposed stock exchange from Camko City to the still-under-construction Canadia Tower.

"I'm 100 percent sure the stock market will be housed here and not moved to another place," he said.

Phoeung Sophoan said the mission had also visited Yon Woo's Gold Tower 42 project, and would also visit GS Engineering and Construction's International Financial Complex and Ciputra's Grand Phnom Penh International City, among other large developments.

While he acknowledged the impact of the global financial crisis on Cambodia's construction sector, Phoeung Sophoan said many smaller developments were pushing ahead and around 20 new projects had received approval already in 2009.

Larger developments had slowed construction work, but were still committed to finishing their projects, while other projects were awaiting approval, he added.

"According to my inspection of the Camko City construction site today, I am confident the developer has sufficient budget to complete construction."

He said the development was creating jobs for 4,600 workers and that up to 10,000 workers could hope for employment if the pace of construction could be ramped up in the near future.   

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