Construction Of Exhibition Hall To Restart

Construction on the $6 million Chroy Changva exhibition hall, which had been stalled for several months due to lack of funds, will be­gin again soon, city officials said on Wednesday.

The massive exhibition hall, lo­cated across the river from the Royal Palace, was part of former Phnom Penh governor Chea So­pha­ra’s plan to develop and beautify the city. However, construction, which was scheduled to be completed by November 2001 in time for that year’s Water Festival, has met with numerous setbacks.

Governor Kep Chuktema on Wednesday vowed to continue the project. He said he plans to sign an agreement with city officials from Venice, Italy, who will help develop the site by lending technical support.

“We are still deciding whether I will go to Venice or if the Venice governor should come to Phnom Penh to sign the agreement,” Kep Chuktema said.

The two cities had completed a joint study to look at development cooperation and planning for the exhibition hall, he said, and they ex­pect a formal signing ceremony for further cooperation be­tween the two cities soon.

City officials said Wednes­day that they are seeking private partners to work with the city on the project and have drawn up a proposal for the Ministry of Interior to provide financial assistance as well. The city also hopes to cooperate with officials from Paris, but this has yet to be finalized.

Construction on the exhibition hall stopped earlier this year after money for the project ran out. The Ministry of Tourism has al­ready provided $3 million, but more funds are necessary.

The hall is being built on 9,000 square meters of land and was intended to serve as an exhibition center for the Asean Tourism For­um in late January. It is now 30 percent finished and may not be completed until 2005.

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