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Cambodia and Russia Partnership:In a discussion May 16 with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed converting a portion of the $1.5 billion that Cambodia owes to Russia into economic and investment cooperation opportunities. This was on his recent visit to Russia. While there has been no clear statement of how the two countries will go about this issue, Medvedev and Hun Sen continued to sign an agreement that put importance on trade, investments and defense. This, according to the prime ministers, will strengthen and highlight the relationship of the two countries which already spans decades in history.The Rise of Sihanoukville:While Prime Minister Hun Sen discussed investment opportunities and economic alliances in Russia, the Cambodian Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, and the Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Chea Sophara, had their own discussions about portioning Sihanoukville into three segments or sections to make it more manageable. The three sections will be characterized as luxury beaches with the private sector, public beaches with the private sector and public entertainment beaches. How this affects zoning and property allocations remains to be seen.The Division of Sihanoukville:The segmentation of Sihanoukville seemed like a fair agreement for everyone. After all, this will allow authorities to easily manage local policies and accesses. Everything seems fair, of course, until someone says it isn’t. This is the case with 14 vendors whose stalls and businesses were demolished in the Ochheuteal beach on April 9. This was after an eviction notice was given to them on March 13. It was reported that there were around 30 stalls that were dismantled to make way for infrastructure and a garden. Some of the vendors had agreed to the $3,500 compensation, but there are still a few who refuse to come to terms with this new development. The evicted vendors had already filed a complaint with the Interior Ministry last Tuesday. As a result of this, Secretary-General Khieu Sopheak has tried communicating with Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Yun Min to see if this issue can be resolved peacefully.A First for Pursat Province:Since the discovery of an investment potential for a development in Pursat Province, local developer – Green Trade – is planning to build a mall and flat along National Road 5 at the Lor Lork Sor district. This road bears much value as the connector of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh. According to Okhna Phou Puy, the head of the Cambodian Rice Millers Association and also the director of Green Trade, the development will also build a farmer’s market and compound flats. Construction is expected to start by the year 2017 where they hope it will meet the New Year with a bang.Chroy Changvar Land Titling:With a welcoming embrace of doubt, local groups for land rights had warmed up to the announcement of District Governor Klang Huot that titling will start this week for residents affected by the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) development which is valued at around $1.6 million. Klang Huot adds that officials coming from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction will arrive to also inspect the communes of Prek Tasek and Prek Leap. Residents were advised to ready their land documentations and plot their lands but have yet to receive details about how much the compensation will be. Officials have yet to confirm the final terms for the said titling.EEU Free Trade Zone: In a statement made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov at the Russia-ASEAN Summit held in Sochi, he reveals that a number of countries in Southeast Asia have expressed the will to create a free trade zone agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union so as to establish healthier business ties and investment opportunities amongst them. These countries include Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. It’s still not clear whether the EEU is open to accepting this type of partnership with the above-mentioned countries. Until this is confirmed, the free trade zone remains to be a possibility and a topic of interest.