A draft of the much-awaited Construction Law has been approved by the Council of Ministers in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen, with industry insiders saying the law would enhance investor confidence in the industry.
In a statement released after the Council of Ministers meeting, the government said the law has several objectives: developing the construction and real estate industry effectively, strengthening management in the construction sector, and enhancing safety standards, among others, the Khmer Times reported.
The government noted that the accountability and efficiency of construction professionals must be strengthened.
“The draft also aims at enhancing investor confidence in the construction sector and promoting efficiency in the real estate market,” the government said.
It highlighted the role construction plays as a pillar of economic growth in the country.
“During the past ten years, investment in construction has grown steadily and it will keep growing strongly,” the government said.
“Big construction projects, including high-rise buildings, are complex undertakings that require properly implemented regulation, technology, and standard to guarantee their quality,” the government said.
Chiv Sivpheng, general manager of the Cambodia Construction Association, said they strongly support the law.
“On behalf of all players in the construction sectors, we are delighted to see the draft law’s approval. Having a law to regulate the sector will guarantee the safety and quality of construction projects,” he told the Khmer Times.
He said the law will help increase investor confidence and attract more projects to the country.
Chrek Soknim, president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, echoed a similar sentiment, noting that having the law will aid the sustainable development of the sector.
“Every country must have this kind of law. It is necessary if you want developers to follow international construction standards,” he said.
He said the law is a positive development for the construction and real estate markets and forecast that the sector will continue to grow strongly in the next five years.
As part of its annual publication ‘White Book’ launched in July, the European Chamber of Commerce issued a list of recommendations for the government to support the development of the real estate and construction sectors.
The chamber said that all construction companies operating in Cambodia should be required to have their designated safety officers undergo occupational safety and health training before starting a new project.
The chamber also suggested that the government and stakeholders implement regulations that require structural building materials manufactured in the country to undergo independent quality assurance testing before sale.
The government should also look at adopting a regulatory framework to govern the property management industry in the country, and consult with the private sector to develop a set of standard operating procedures, according to the chamber
The digitalisation of the transfer process of immovable property should also be a priority, with Eurocham suggesting the creation of an online platform.
Consultation with the private sector to ensure a practical set of building standards was also recommended.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Land Management, investment in the construction sector grew significantly during the first half of the year, expanding by about 57% compared to the same period last year.
From January to June, the ministry approved 2,047 construction projects, a 24.5% increase, worth a combined $3.3 billion.
The Central Bank projected early this month that the Kingdom’s economy will grow at a rate of 7.1% in 2019 on the back of strong growth in the export, construction, real estate, and tourism sectors.