Cambodian High-rise Buildings to Attract More Foreign Investors
Feb. 16, 2017, 12:40 p.m.
The increase in high-rise buildings across Phnom Penh is not only turning Phnom Penh into business and commercial hub, it is also attracting more foreign investors to inject their investment capital into the country. Sear Rithy, CEO of WorldBridge Land, is currently cooperating with Singapore-based Oxley Holding International to invest in ‘The Bridge’ development, a 45 floor, $300 million project. The same company is also preparing to build the Shangri-la Hotel in Phnom Penh, and three commercial buildings known as ‘The Peak,’ with 55 floors each, located near Diamond Island. Sear Rithy says that the emerging skyline in Phnom Penh is really attractive for investment. "When foreigners visit Cambodia, they will be interested in projects like ours. If there are many high-rise buildings, they realize this country has been developing and they are interested in investing. They will then consider the legal system and government policy, economic growth, and political stability," he said. "Investment will grow along with the high-rise buildings." The speed of development shall depend on each government's policy; however, Sear Rithy believes we are currently on the right track. Cambodia is better than all other ASEAN countries, besides Singapore, in regards to the conditions for increased FDI - because the Cambodian government allows foreign investors to own a one hundred per cent share of a company, they are exempt from tax for importing products and tax rates generally in Cambodia are lower. "Cambodia has adopted a multi-ownership law which allows foreigners to own from the first floor up, which is good because it helps foreigners to be more confident in their ownership rights. It's like Cambodians trying to buy property abroad without having their name on the title of the property. Is it a worry? Yes, of course it is," he said. According to an unreleased report by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction that looked at 600 new buildings both finished and under construction, Phnom Penh’s development has been broken down into three categories. While the city is still dominated by buildings that range from five to nine floors, at a total of 361 buildings, it is not a surprise that their numbers showed a growing trend towards upward development. The report found that there are 167 buildings between 10 to 19 floors, 21 buildings were between 21 to 29 floors, while only twelve were above 30 floors, four of which are over 40 floors. Lao Tip Seiha, Deputy General Director of the Construction Department of the Ministry Of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said looking at the change in Phnom Penh’s skyline is an indicator of the country’s development. If compared to neighboring countries, he said that Phnom Penh’s growth is following the same path as other major cities and that the high-rise developments reflect adequate urban planning and infrastructure advances. “More high-rise buildings illustrate that Cambodia has achieved more than it ever has before,” he said. “Foreigners who visited Cambodia even five years ago are surprised by the achievement.” Chrek Soknim, CEO of Century 21 Mekong, agreed that having high-rise buildings could well give more investment potential to Cambodia. He now sees a Chinese company planning to invest in a 500-meter building with high standards in Cambodia, and this reflects a good sign for the country. "Having more high-rise buildings will mean we attract more investors. If there are more investments such as this Chinese example, and they move their head office here, we will get more advantages for the greater economy," Soknim said. "Cambodia does not have many big companies placing head offices here, so we have more potential to come in the future. But I believe we will attract them to bring their head offices here. Consequently, the GDP of Cambodia will increase to another level," he said. Realestate.com.kh is proud to support the CVEA's Property View publication. Click here to get your copy, or if you are interested to join the CVEA today.