bavit, Chantrea district, Svay Rieng provinces – A $2 million market project here has stalled as its owners wait for Cambodia’s economic climate to improve.
Site manager Im Vimol said earlier this month he did not know when the Bavit International Market, located a few kilometers from the Cambodia-Vietnam border crossing, would begin operations. He estimated, however, it would take at least six months.
“The owners are waiting because of the political climate,” Im Vimol said. Work stopped a few months before the July polls.
District officials in Bavit expressed hope that construction would soon resume, and give a boost to this border community, where 40 percent of its residents are small traders.
The Bavit market is a U-shaped, two-story mall with 400 stalls. In the middle of the courtyard sits a covered area for smaller traders to sell their wares. Im Vimol said the market is 90 percent completed, although the landscaping needs to be redone.
He did not know what percentage of the stalls had been rented out, but said that some traders had withdrawn from the project.
The market is currently owned by a Phnom Penh trading company called Mieng Ly Heng Group Import Export Ltd. Company officials could not be reached for comment.
Work on the project began in late 1994. But Bavit commune Deputy Chief Svay Saroeun said the company went broke shortly after, and Bavit International Market was sold to Mieng Ly Heng.
Commerce Ministry officials said they do not know what is happening with the project. Svay Rieng Governor Loy Sophat was also unsure of the status of the empty complex.
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