June 3, 2011

Construction on the rebound


THE value of construction projects receiving government approval to proceed has more than doubled in the first four months compared year on year, according to Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction figures obtained yesterday.

A total of 696 projects, worth an estimated US$482 million, were given the green light during  the first four months of 2011, compared with 697 projects worth $184 million in the corresponding period last year.

“Those of us in the construction sector are happy,”  Lao Tip Seiha, director of the ministry’s Construction Department, said.

“It’s a good sign, showing that the construction sector in Cambodia is getting better after the downturn in the past three years.”

The ministry had worked to promote construction laws and make it easier for investors to do business in Cambodia’s construction sector, Lao Tip Seiha said.

“We believe construction approvals will continue to increase for the next few months this year,” he said.

The ministry highlighted projects such as a Kampong Speu sugar plant owned by Yu Ching, as well as hotels, guesthouses and garment factories, as contributing to the rise in approvals.

Cambodia Properties Limi-ted managing director Cheng Kheng said yesterday Cambodia’s construction and real estate sectors had begun recovering this year.

“We are very happy when we see the construction sector increasing,” he said, adding that his business of property sales would improve as construction stepped up.

Foreigners had been returning to the Kingdom’s property sector since the beginning of the year, Cheng Kheng said.

“We saw investors returning because they feel confident with real estate and construction in Cambodia,” he said.

Investors were coming from regional countries such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia and particularly South Korea, Cheng Kheng  said.

Previous figures from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction show 2,149 construction projects worth a combined US$840 million were approved last year, compared with 2,230 projects worth a total of $1.988 billion approved in 2009.

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