ASEAN: Cambodia’s Century Old Villas “Torn-Down” for Sky-Scrapers

Khmer cat, do not make the same mistake as Siamese cats

by Pooky, this blog economics journalist

The Cambodian economy is on a roll, growing some 5%-10% in the past five years.

Based on what, is the question, but foreign investments are noticing-and a great many have headed into Cambodia.

  • Literally speaking, hundreds of very classical French style villas in Panon Phen, at really natural and peaceful locations, have been bought up.

In its place, many low-rise and high-rise hotels and sky scrapers are going up-being built at this moment, or close at launching, is a string of about 10 buildings of about 40-60 stories high.

  • Is that possible? Sky scrapers in Phanom Phen?

What many economist and business people have been saying in Cambodian press, one of which is accessible through this blog sidebar “ASEAN Section” is that Cambodia is a very “Open and Liberal” country, when it comes to welcoming trade and investments.

  • “The Cambodians are sort of simplistic and that is very refreshing in Asia. When Hun Sen says he wants high-rise in Panom Phen, everything in the way of getting that is pushed aside. When Hun Sen says he wants Cambodia to become an agro-industreal based economy, everything in the way is again pushed away. When Hun says, Cambodia want to become a tourism and related services center, again everything in the way is again pushed away,” said Kim Yong Jang, a Korean business person, in the process of putting up a 20 story hotel right downtown Panom Pen.

That type of mentality of Hun Sen, obviously is different that in most parts in Asia, where negotiations and regulations are just simply “Staggering.”

“It is the new wild west of investment,” said Analysis Magazine, a Thai Red Shirt press that is close to the Cambodians-of what is occurring in Cambodia.

  • “Cambodia’s  future is very bright with massive oil and gas reserves, virgin beaches, massive track of suitable agricultural land, massive water based resources for aqua-related industry, and it is right on the border of Thailand and Vietnam is also right next door,” said Analyst Magazine.

Already, international schools and international level hospitals are going up. A Korean and Australian town are on the verge of being established. Even immigration laws can see a foreigner become a Cambodian quickly, if qualified.

  • But some Cambodians are not happy.

Many said the beauty and serenity of Panom Phen is fast disappearing.

  • “I rather see Cambodia go Laos way of preservation. These buildings going up are destroying the charm of the city, and what if Cambodian economy turns sour, and they become half-finished like in Thailand for so many years-how am I going find peace, in this city that is already very busy, with prostitution everywhere like in Bangkok,” said Tran Thep, a Panom Phen residence.

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