China Construction Spending Up in 1st 4 Months

Chinese investment in construction projects in the first four months this year has already surpassed half the 2013 total, when Chinese investment in construction projects was valued at $2.7 billion, according to the state news agency.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the opening of a Chinese-owned condominium development on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich on Saturday, Tep Thon, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, said that the total value of Chinese investment in the construction sector has reached $1.4 billion this year, according to Agence Kampuchea Presse.

Beng Hong Socheat Khemro, spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, confirmed the accuracy of Mr. Thon’s figures and said Chinese developers are increasingly putting their money into major construction projects, both commercial and residential.

With many of the mega-projects that have gone up in China during the last decade’s construction boom already falling into disrepair, Mr. Socheat Khemro said that Cambodia’s government is ensuring that Chinese-built structures here don’t meet the same fate.

“[Chinese developers] asked permission from the ministry to develop their construction plans properly,” he said. “We have our specialized officials and consultants to review their plans properly.”

Total promised investment in construction projects has soared 413 percent during the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year, with 50 approved projects valued at $851 million from January to March, compared to the 36 projects valued at $206 million in the first quarter last year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Land Management.

Mr. Thon, according to the AKP report, said at the launching ceremony for the Casa Meridian Condo development, that Chinese investment in construction was steadily rising, from $1.7 billion in 2011 to $2.2 billion in 2012 to $2.7 billion last year.

Nuon Ritthy, CEO of Bonna Realty, said Chinese investors are speculatively building residences mostly for foreigners as Cambodia prepares to become an increasingly connected business destination in the coming years.

Laws allowing foreigners to own property above the first floor of buildings are also encouraging investment in construction projects aimed at foreign buyers, he added.

“Chinese investors are looking at both their local and regional market, so when Asean becomes one community there will be no barriers,” Mr. Ritthy said.

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