Re: Cambodia's private sector urged the government to allow foreign ownership of certain properties, saying a liberalised real estate market would spur economic growth
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 05:48:00 -0700
On Sep 4, 7:28?am, Chim <Chi...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
Cambodia urged to allow foreign ownership of property
Tuesday, September 4
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - - Cambodia's private sector Tuesday urged the
government to allow foreign ownership of certain properties like
apartments or factories, saying a liberalised real estate market would
spur economic growth.
Under the current rules, foreign property investments must be made in
the name of a Cambodian national, and many are unwilling to risk
losing their assets to unscrupulous local partners.
While Cambodia's investment law was amended in 2005 to allow foreign
ownership of permanent fixtures, the legislation has yet to be
implemented and the initiative has floundered.
"There are several reasons for urgent action," said Bretton Sciaroni,
an American lawyer who serves as the chairman of the International
Business Club and was speaking Tuesday at a meeting between the
private sector and government.
The measure would further develop Cambodia's real estate market,
taking advantage of a current boom and making the country competitive
with its neighbours, which allow foreigners to own apartments or
Vast new building projects have bloomed in the past few years,
including a number of sprawling satellite cities worth billions of
dollars that when constructed will radically alter the face of the
"This is already a sector of the economy that is dynamic, but foreign
ownership of apartments, condominiums and other such structures on the
land will help spur further economic growth," Sciaroni said.
"Such a regulatory development will provide a dramatic indication that
Cambodia has an investor-friendly environment," he added.
After decades of turmoil, Cambodia has emerged as a rising economy in
the region -- posting an average of 11 percent growth over the past
three years on the back of strong tourism and garment sectors.
But officials warn that the country, which still relies on
international aid for half of its annual budget, must diversify by
seeking more varied foreign investments.
"There are other sectors we are trying to encourage, but we have to
find out what are the sectors where we can be competitive," Commerce
Minister Cham Prasidh told AFP in an interview last week.
"If we try to produce the same thing as Thailand or Malaysia, it will
be very difficult," he added.
Investors Push Cambodia on Real Estate
Tuesday September 4, 6:45 am ET
Investors Push Cambodia to Allow Foreign Ownership of Buildings,
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) -- Foreign investors pushed the Cambodian
government Tuesday to allow foreign ownership of buildings, apartments
and condominiums, saying such a step is important to advance the
country's economic growth.
"It will help further develop the real estate market in Cambodia,"
said Bretton Sciaroni, an American lawyer, in a speech at a government
Sciaroni was representing a group of investors in a regular meeting
with the government to discuss the investment climate and the
difficulties of doing business in Cambodia.
He noted that real estate is already a dynamic sector in Cambodia.
"But foreign ownership of apartments, condominiums and other such
structures on the land will help spur future economic growth," he
The Cambodian constitution prohibits foreign ownership of land but
doesn't explicitly ban foreigners from owning buildings.
Two years ago, the government amended a land law with the aim of
allowing foreign ownership of such permanent fixtures.
But since then, the government has not issued any implementing
regulation on the amendment, leaving lending institutions uncertain
about investing in Cambodian real estates, Sciaroni said.
Sciaroni cited the examples of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia,
Indonesia and the Philippines, which all permit foreign ownership of
apartments and condominiums.
"Cambodia not only has a chance to match our competitors, but
depending on how the regulation is written, we can actually offer more
favorable terms than our competitors in the region," he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen made no commitment to the appeal at the meeting
Tuesday, saying the issue must be thoroughly studied.
Hun Sen added that only the constitutional council, the highest body
with power to interpret Cambodian law, can rule on the regulation
regarding foreign ownership of property.
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