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  • » 06/01/2007, 00.00

    CAMBODIA

    Glitzy modern satellite city to be built near Phnom Penh and its poor slums



    The project is a sign of the country’s real estate boom after decades of civil war. Young people lead the residential boom as they buy new houses.

    Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – World City, a joint venture between South Korean and Cambodian companies, has begun building a satellite city near Phnom Penh. The US$ 2 billion urban development project will be financed by South Korea's Shinhan Bank.

    The South Korean bank will provide US$ 65 million to build Camko City's first thousand residential units, and infrastructure for the development, which is expected to take between 11 and 15 years to complete. The first phase is due for completion in two years and the latter phases will include a university, a hospital and schools

    The development is the latest outgrowth of Cambodia's building boom—one of the country's most visible signs of recovery after decades of civil war and destitution.

    Bolstered by its newfound political stability and large injections of donor aid, Cambodia achieved GDP growth of 10.5 per cent last year. And new houses are being marketed to the growing numbers of young Cambodians.

    “After the Khmer Rouge regime ended [in 1979], there were more children than average. Now they are 25, 26 years old, and they have families who need homes," said Hang Chuon Naron, secretary-general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Average price tags are US$ 120,000.

    Not everyone is enthusiastic about the trend. Some have voiced concern about Cambodia's ability to manage its urban growth, particularly when 35 per cent of the population still lives below the poverty line.

    “We should not have huge developments surrounded by slums, with the poorest of the poor looking up at the skyscrapers,” said Mu Sochua, secretary-general of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party.

    Noting Phnom Penh's “limited and inadequate housing supply,” Robert Taliercio, senior Cambodia economist for the World Bank, cited the capital's need to manage its building boom without losing its character. “[I]t would be a shame if it became just another generic-looking East Asian megalopolis,” he said.

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    See also

    08/10/2010 CHINA
    Shanghai adopts new measures against real estate speculation
    Households are banned from purchasing third homes. Banks will be limited in the number of mortgages they can issue; taxes will be raised as well. Experts say such steps can only have short-term effects; affordable housing is needed for low-income families.

    10/03/2009 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    Dubai: massive projects wind down, immigrants return home
    The economic crisis is affecting the construction industry most of all. In 2009, 45% of the workers in the sector will lose their jobs. The Dubai Economic Council is earmarking 10 billion euros to confront the crisis. Hundreds of cars have been abandoned at the Dubai airport by foreigners fleeing from debts after losing their jobs.

    18/07/2006 SAUDI ARABIA
    Real estate boom pushing Saudi farmers to do away with their trees
    Selling land on which palm dates are cultivated is illegal, but the land is worth more than what farmers can make from selling dates. Green spaces in the kingdom's holy cities are thus diminishing. In Madinah the authorities are trying an awareness campaign to stop the trend.

    07/08/2014 CAMBODIA
    Phnom Penh: UN court sentences former Khmer Rouge leaders to life
    They are Nuon Chea - "Brother Number Two" and vice to Pol Pot - and Khieu Samphan, head of state under the regime. Both guilty of crimes against humanity. Lawyers speak of "injustice" and announce appeal. Satisfaction among victims’ relatives, but hate "remains unchanged".

    07/01/2008 CAMBODIA
    A new church is consecrated in Phnom Penh: the first after the destruction of the Khmer Rossi
    It has been defined “defined a sign of hope”. Present, card. Raffaele Martino and more than a thousand Catholics from across the country as well as priests and missionaries.



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