July 2, 2011

Editorial: The Construction Sector

[Economics Today Magazine]

The Kingdom’s construction industry is beginning to recover after a sluggish period from 2008-2010 that was brought on by the global financial crisis.

In the immediate period leading up to the global inancial crisis, there was a big push for mega-projects in Phnom Penh. And many of these mega projects have not reached completion, which is evident when looking at the stalled projects that can be seen when looking at Phnom Penh’s skyline.

The Gold 42 Tower project in the heart of Phnom Penh on Sihanouk Boulevard came to a grinding halt in September 2010 when the South Korean Company that was developing the project announced that it was undergoing restructuring. More recently, the lights on what is now a 31-floor construction site have been turned back on and staf have been spotted on the site, although it remains to be seen whether the project will reach completion.

Camko City, a 120-hectare satellite city with a projected cost of US$2 billion, had been delayed and downsized due to the global crisis. Since then, the project has been called into question as the South Korean bank that was funding it is now facing corruption charges.

Speculative investors were arguably not being realistic with some of these mega-projects.

But on the bright side many locally inanced projects focused on residential development having been springing up, giving the Kingdom’s construction industry a big boost.

Hopefully, the stalled mega projects will eventually follow suit and give Cambodia’s construction industry an even bigger boost.

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