Eurocham’s Real Estate and Construction Committee taking steps to raise industry standards

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:31 p.m.

Andre de Jong Realestate.com.kh caught up with Andre de Jong, Managing director of Bosch in Cambodia and Chairman of the Real Estate and Construction Committee of the EuroCham Cambodia, to find out what the European chamber of commerce in Cambodia is currently doing to assist the progress of the real estate and construction industry. Tell us about the role of the Eurocham real estate and construction committee generally? When was the committee formed? What is your mission? Who are your members? And what are some of your key activities? The Real Estate and Construction Committee (RECC) is a working group under the EuroCham Cambodia. The committee was formed in early 2014. The RECC advocates the improvement of safety and quality of construction and building, urban planning, and land management in Cambodia through events, sharing information, and fostering networking. eurochamThe RECC is open to companies/individuals that provide services or have strong interest in the construction or real estate industries in Cambodia. In 2014, the RECC organized its first Real Estate and Construction Forum at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh on the topic of the vision for growth of the real estate and construction industries in Cambodia. In May this year, the RECC together with Cambodia Constructors Association (CCA) hosted another Construction Forum focusing on construction and building safety. Besides members’ meetings and networking, the individual working groups of the RECC are also working with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) in their specific fields of specialization. What successes have you experienced since your formation? The first Real Estate and Construction Forum that the RECC organized was a success. The event gathered over 200 participants, about 40 of whom were representatives from MLMUPC. As a result of the forum, the RECC has become a partner of the Ministry which subsequently allows both parties to collaborate more closely on information sharing and policy development. The forum also led to a MoU signing between the RECC and the Ministry in mid-2015 to improve legislations related to real estate and construction topics such as workplace safety. It also focuses on urban heritage concepts, spatial planning, and coastal development. What are the most important policy directives that the Eurocham construction and real estate committee are pursuing currently? And why are these directives of such priority? The RECC is divided into three pillars: Real Estate, Construction, and Urban Planning and Land Management. The MLMUPC has similar pillars, of which Real Estate is under the cadastral department. For the Construction working group, the main goal is for Cambodia to derive a building code that consists of a number of set regulations and rules for building and construction with a strong focus on safety standards. These include, for example, worksite safety, fire safety, health and safety of workers, and structural design of buildings. The RECC has also been working alongside the government on Prakas on an advisory level. The committee is also pushing to improve the Prakas related to health and safety in Cambodia. The Real Estate working group focuses on property measurement and valuation, as well as investor confidence. There are some ambiguities in the current regulations that this working group is focusing on. The goal is to minimize investment risks due to regulations and improve investor confidence. Moreover, we are advocating to have one agreed property measurement system by adopting an existing system from another country. The realization of this system will help to tackle uncertainty or deception in property measurement and valuation. The Land Management and Urban Planning committee has been actively working alongside the government. We are making good progress on an urban heritage study, coastal development planning, and spatial planning in a designated province. The expertise from this committee, including our French experts, is paramount here to support the royal government to achieve positive results. Learn more about Eurocham’s Real Estate and Construction Committee (RECC) now! Learn more about the real estate and construction industries in our comprehensive Cambodia investor guides!