Touted solution to the problem of unfinished buildings in Sihanoukville

Mr. Chea Kok Hong, Director of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Planning of Sihanoukville Province to Become a Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone of the Ministry of Economy, stated that in October 2022, the Royal Government issued a letter to the Ministry. Economy The Ministry of Land Management, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Tourism to set up a study committee to prepare a solution to the problem of more than 1,000 buildings currently in an unfinished in Preah Sihanouk province.

According to Mr. Chea Kok Hong, so far, the relevant institutions have settled issues such as the law to build disputes outside the court system, and offer tax incentives to develop the buildings that are unfinished in order to attract new business people. The senior official confirmed that the team has been attracting new investors to develop in Sihanoukville. Mr. Chea Kok Hong said this was according to Mr. Vongsey Visoth in the public forum on macroeconomic management and budget law 2023 on January 25.

In this forum, Mr. Vongsey Visoth, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, stressed that the lack of completion for of many buildings in Sihanoukville is due to investment without a clear management framework. “Even with private investment, when there are non-private issues, where is the state to solve them? Now we take the burden across the country to solve the problems of investors who create problems for society,” he said. “If we do not release them, (the solution) will not happen, but if we do, it will affect the people who are the taxpayers, because we have to use state money to solve all these problems.”

In this regard, Mr. Vongsey Vongsuth did not have much further to add, saying, ” I have not confirmed (this plan) yet, leave a little time, maybe next time, because we are just entering the second phase in February. In the near future, there will be a meeting to resolve (the problems), and the third (phase) will finalize the framework of the master plan, in which the preparation of the policy framework, as well as policy measures to resolve the unfinished buildings in Sihanoukville are considered- the whole package.

Dr. Ky Sereyvath, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, sees the stalemate in Sihanoukville as a private sector building issue, meaning that it is the property of local people who have entered into construction contracts with investment companies from China. He stressed that this issue only facilitates and encourages private investors to come and develop further, not allowing the government to manage the assets of the private sector. In particular, expecting investors to develop these buildings in Sihanoukville, Dr. Ky Sereyvath noted that is not yet possible.

By saying that “First, I do not understand that China (investment( will come to Cambodia in 2023 due to the global economic crisis, and China’s economy is seeing only 2% growth,therefore, the slowdown in China’s economy may also cause China to stagnate in terms of foreign investment .”

The senior economist pointed out that 2023 is a year of increasing tourism for investment opportunities, 2024 or 2025 could be a year that more Chinese investment will pour into Cambodia.


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