Friday, 18 March 2011 15:00Chun Sophal and May Kunmakara
WORK on the long-awaited Royal Tower is set to begin “very soon”, according to Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng, after the multi-million-dollar project was approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
The tower – planned to be 36-storeys high and located at the corners of Monivong and Russian Federation Boulevards in Phnom Penh – was part of US$245-million worth of schemes approved by the government in the first two months of this year, according to the CDC.
The project received formal approval last month and has total fixed assets of $90 million behind it, a list obtained by The Post stated.
It was described as “development of trade and retail centre, business centres, conference and exhibition centres as well as service suites and hotels”.
Construction is slated to be completed by mid-2013, according to information displayed on the Royal Group’s website yesterday.
When quizzed about the scheme yesterday, Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng commented only to say “it will begin very soon”.
Media reports in October said the conglomerate was still in negotiations with investors in order to complete funding for the project.
The $245.4 million worth of projects approved by the CDC in January and February was a large rise on the $89.6 million approved in the same period of 2010.
Yorn Heng, the director for the Department of Assessment and Investment Projects at CDC, said yesterday: “We hope that investment money will continue growing in the future because we are recovering from the global economic crisis that affected Cambodia’s economic situation last year.”
Of the 12 projects approved in the first two months, seven schemes worth $25 million were related to the textile industry.
The schemes were backed by investors from Hong Kong, the United States, Taiwan and Korea. Van Sou Ieng, president of Garment Manufactures Association in Cambodia, said that the sector has been encouraged by the relaxation of taxes on European garment imports.
A rubber processing factory was also approved along with a $102 million scheme from Tower Master (Cambodia) Company Limited, which develops and maintains telecommunication towers in the Kingdom.
A $17 million Noth Korean project from Mansudae New Tech Corp Ltd, described only as a “panorama house” was also approved in January.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING ELLIE DYER