Growing pains, as capital keeps expanding

February 6th, 2015 , VOA Khmer

Phnom Penh is one of the fastest-growing cities in Southeast Asia. It added nearly 500,000 people between 2000 and 2010, for a total of 1.4 million. That has meant a lot of changes in a short period: more congestion, more markets, more housing. And, newcomers say, more opportunity. …

A recent report on global growth by the World Bank noted the rapid expansion of Cambodia’s cities. …

Phorn Bopha,

Chinese firm to open 1st duty free store in Cambodia

August 12th, 2014 ,

China Duty Free Group (CDFG) announced Monday that it has invested in a downtown duty free store in Cambodia’s cultural Siem Reap City and the store will be launched in December.

“CDFG’s Cambodian subsidiary will firstly start its downtown duty free store of 4,500 square meters in Siem Reap, known as Angkor Duty Free Store, and it will open to the public in December 2014,” the company said in a press statement. “Additionally, CDFG-Cambodia’s second downtown duty free store will be opened continuously in Phnom Penh City in 2015.” … News Staff

MEA, WAPCOS sign agreements for assisting Cambodia in water resources management

May 13th, 2014 , NetIndian News

The Ministry of External Affairs today signed two agreements with the public sector WAPCOS Limited for assisting Cambodia in water resources management.

One of the agreements is on Study of Ground Water Resources of Kampong Spue Province in Cambodia and the other on Development of Master Plan for Siem Reap River Basin in Cambodia, an official press release said here today.

The agreements were signed here by Mr Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Joint Secretary (South) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Mr R.K. Gupta, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, WAPCOS Ltd. …

NetIndian News Network

Work begins on mega resort

May 1st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Construction began yesterday on the Sokha Hotel Group’s 600-room luxury resort in Siem Reap – right next door to Angkor Wat.

Named the Sokha Siem Reap Resort, both company and government officials were out in force at yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, talking up the perks of the new complex located in an area reserved by the Ministry of Tourism for hotel development, next to Cambodia’s best-known historical temple complex.

“After receiving an official permission from APSARA Authority this year, we held the groundbreaking ceremony, and we will start to construct our resort today,” said Heu Heng, deputy director-general of Sokimex Group, referring to the authority that manages Angkor Wat. …

Thik Kaliyann

Siem Reap sees property gains fuelled by tourism, economic integration

March 6th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Siem Reap city land prices have continued to increase year-on-year since 2008, despite the impact of the global economic crisis elsewhere.

Sorn Seap, general manager of KEY Real Estate, said that land prices in Siem Reap city in early 2014 saw an increase of 15 per cent compared with the first half of 2013, and the average price of land was now around $1,010 per square metre. But he also noted that while land prices were increasing in the city, they were stable on the outskirts of Siem Reap. …

In Zone A, which includes the Pub Street area along the main road, land is priced at between $2,300 and $4,000 per square metre, and at $1,200 to $1,700 per square metre on the sub-roads. In Zone B, which extends from the Central Market to National Road 6, prices on the main road range from $1,500 to $2,300 and from $500 and $1,000 per square metre on the sub-roads. …

The number of foreign tourists coming to Cambodia grew to around 4.2 million in 2013 compared to around 3.5 million in 2012, an increase of 17.5 per cent. …

Sum Manet

Cambodian airports to double capacity

February 24th, 2014 , Bangkok Post

Expansion plans will double passenger capacity at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports in Cambodia, according to a local aviation official.

The project will expand parking areas, terminals and all facilities at the two international airports, Khek Norinda, communications director for Cambodia Airports, said. …

Bangkok Post News Staff

China fuels Cambodia’s airline growth

February 13th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation says Cambodia’s aviation market grew briskly for the second consecutive year as national and foreign airlines added routes to China amid a surge in Chinese nationals visiting the country.

The centre reported Cambodia has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia, recording 18% passenger growth for the second consecutive year in 2013.

Cambodia’s three commercial airports — Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville– handled 5.1 million passengers in 2013, representing an 18% increase over the 4.3 million passengers handled in 2012, based on figures from Cambodia Airports. …

All five of Cambodia Angkor Air’s other China routes are also currently served with three weekly flights except Guangzhou-Siem Reap, which is served daily according to OAG data. Cambodia Angkor Air also has launched some charter routes to China over the last year, including to Xiamen. …

Total scheduled capacity from Cambodia to China has increased by more than 50% over the last year, according to CAPA and OAG data.

Total one-way capacity between the two countries in the first half of 2014 will fluctuate between about 10,000 and 13,000 weekly one-way seats (the market is highly seasonal).

Cambodia Angkor Air will capture an estimated 19% share of the scheduled Cambodia-China market in April this year, up from about 14% currently and zero just a few months ago.

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Raising a stink in Siem Reap

February 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Piles of waste stinking up Siem Reap’s Chreav commune are causing serious health problems and making the area unlivable, according to local residents.

The site in Knar village, which is run by refuse company Global Action for Environment Awareness (GAEA), is plagued with flies and a smell that leaves nearby residents reaching for the sick bag, locals said. …

Residents of Knar village told the Post yesterday that the issue dates back at least to the administration of former Siem Reap governor Sou Phirin, who had not managed to find a solution despite multiple requests for intervention. …

Thik Kaliyann

Cambodia’s tourism anchored to Angkor

January 24th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

More than 90% of tourists visiting Cambodia will end up at Siem Reap’s world heritage site Angkor Wat, despite efforts to open other areas of the country to tourism.

Officials attending the Asean Tourism Forum admitted that efforts to convince tour operators to include trips to other areas namely the Northeast and the coastal region around Sihanouk ​​Ville have not met with much success.

They also conceded that UNESCO had warned authorities that Angkor Wat had reached its capacity ceiling and world heritage environment was at risk. …

While Cambodia positions itself as a cultural destination it has more casinos than any other ASEAN nation with 38 perched close to international borders and just one in the capital Phnom Penh. Many of the country’s overland tourist arrivals are travellers from neighboring countries visiting casinos close to international borders.

The policy is to push the gambling business to borders well away from the main population areas. They are rarely promoted and officials say the single casino in Phnom Penh was allowed to stay open to offer entertainment for tourists.

Northeast Cambodia is the hot destination according to tourism officials. They want to push the Mekong Discovery Trail that highlights the endangered river dolphins. The route from there goes north into Laos to Pakse in Champasak province.

TTR Weekly News Staff

Air Pollution—The Latest Threat to Angkor Park

December 9th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Air pollution from vehicles and electric generators inside the Angkor Archeological Park and in Siem Reap City is soiling and darkening the monuments at the World Heritage Site, an official at the Apsara Authority, which is responsible for the park, said Friday. …

Options to decrease the pollution from the hundreds of tour buses and tuk-tuks that ferry visitors around the park each day, as well as generators used by hotels in the country’s premier tourist town, will be discussed and addressed over the next decade, said Im Sokrithy, communications officer for the Apsara Authority. …

“The air pollution is on a high level. Compared to Japan, it is really high,” [Apsara Authority communications officer] Mr. [Im] Sokrithy said, adding that the Apsara Authority had heard evidence from a Japanese researcher working with Unesco that air pollution in Siem Reap is extremely high.

On Thursday, representatives of more than 30 countries and international organizations met in Siem Reap to attend the 3rd Intergovernmental Conference on Angkor, where a new management plan for the park was unveiled. …

A ban on tour buses entering Angkor is possible in the future, as well as alternatives, including switching to electric cars.

French firm Bollore submitted a proposal on Thursday introducing the so-called “Bluecar,” an electric car with three doors that is being used in car-sharing services in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon. …

Denise Hruby

Cambodia’s Siem Reap, China’s Jiangxi ink cooperation deal

November 30th, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

Cambodia’s cultural Siem Reap province and China’s eastern Jiangxi province have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in a number of fields, according to a copy of the MoU on Saturday.

The deal was inked on Friday afternoon between Khim Bunsong, governor of Siem Reap province, and Xie Ru, vice-governor of Jiangxi province.

“Under the five-year cooperation deal, both sides will cooperate in agriculture, education, health, culture, trade, and tourism,” the MoU says. “A joint working group will be formed to implement the deal.”

China is the largest investor in Cambodia. According to the Cambodian government’s figures, from 1994 to 2012, total Chinese investment in Cambodia reached 9.17 billion U.S. dollars.

On the trade side, Cambodia-China trade was valued at 2.83 billion U. S. dollars in the first nine months of 2013, a 31 percent rise from the same period last year. The two countries have vowed to boost the bilateral trade volume to 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.

For tourism, Cambodia greeted 339,890 Chinese tourists in the first nine months of this year, up 45 percent year-on-year, making China the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia.

Xinhuanet News Staff

Tourists flock to beaches, temples

November 20th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

While the streets of Phnom Penh were quiet this holiday period after the Water Festival was cancelled, numbers swelled in the provinces as tourists flocked to Cambodia’s temples and beaches, provincial officials said yesterday.

Chhoeuy Chhorn, director of the Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Department, said Angkor Wat received more than 63,000 visitors over the three-day national holiday, a 17 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. …

Sihanoukville attracted more than 71,000 visitors during this year’s holiday, a 27 per cent increase to last year. …

Some 19,500 of close to 30,000 visitors coming to Kampot province during the three days went up to Bokor Mountain, according to figures from the provincial tourism department. The remaining headed to Kep and Nataya seaside destinations. …

Chan Muy Hong

Thirteen Arrested for Illegal Online Gambling

November 19th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Nine South Koreans and four Cambodian nationals allegedly participating in an illegal gambling operation in Siem Reap City were sent to the provincial court for questioning Monday, police officials said.

The suspects were arrested Saturday night along with 21 Cambodian women when police raided an illegal casino that was set up on the third floor of Angkor Valley Hotel in Svay Dangkum commune, according to Lieutenant Colonel Phoeng Chendarith, provincial minor crimes police chief. …

Saing Soenthrith

River-widening project to displace 600 families

November 15th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

More than 600 families living along the Siem Reap riverside are to be relocated at the beginning of next year by the government, a top provincial official said yesterday.

The families will be evicted as part of a provincial government plan to widen the river to alleviate regular flooding in the town, in addition to constructing communal gardens on the riverside, Siem Reap deputy governor So Platong told the Post. …

Platong added that government buildings sitting along the riverside would also have to be relocated, including the Siem Reap police station and commune office.

Residents will be forced to move from a five-kilometre stretch of riverside starting from the Kong Much pagoda near the centre of town to the village of Chong Srok. …

Thik Kaliyann

Law Aimed at Protecting Local Products Approved

November 12th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

The Council of Ministers has approved a draft law aimed at protecting the patent rights of traditional Cambodian products, which if violated could be met with a fine of up to $5,000 and a five-year jail term.

The law on geographical indication (G.I.), a status given to protect reputable goods that originate from a specific region, aims at maintaining national identity and “protecting the intellectual property of producers and operators while protecting consu­mers,” the Council of Ministers said in a statement. …

In April 2010, Kampot pepper and Kompong Speu palm sugar be­came the first Cambodian products to receive the World Trade Organization-supported G.I. status. Mr. Roth San said five more products could be added to the list, including silk from Banteay Meanchey province, fish paste from Siem Reap and durian from Kampot.

Hul Reaksmey and George Styllis

New local carrier to launch flights

November 12th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

A new local airline is applying to fly in Cambodia, according to aviation officials, at a time when the market is monopolised by national flag carrier Cambodia Angkor Air and a handful of carriers offering chartered routes.

Royal Spirit Airlines last Friday met with the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) to discuss the process of applying for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), said Vann Chanty, director of the Air Transport Department of the SCCA, over the weekend. …

But according to a profile at the Sydney-based Centre for Aviation’s website, Royal Spirit Airlines is a proposed Cambodian start-up and is a joint venture between Taiwanese carrier Far Eastern Air Transport and Taiwanese company Huafu Enterprise Co Ltd. Its main hub will be in Siem Reap and flights will start in mid-2014, the website said. …

Anne Renzenbrink

Cambodia’s tourism soars

November 11th, 2013 , TTR Weekly

Cambodia’s tourist arrivals registered a 16.9% growth in September according to the country’s statistics and tourist Information department.

The country attracted 283,787 visits compared to 242,747 during the same month in 2012. …

Released by the Ministry of Tourism, late last week, data showed the percentage growth did not increase from neighbouring Vietnam, but it remained the top supplier with 59,717 trips, compared with 59,721 trips during the same month last year. …

In September, 45.6% (129,458) of all international visitors arrived by air. Siem Reap Airport had the major share, 24.8% (70,440) and Phnom Penh Airport 20.8% (59,018), mainly business travellers who needed to contact government departments or budget travellers who start or finish their overland trips in the Cambodian capital.

Overland travel accounts for 52.6% (149,209) of all travel through checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, while sea travel is a small at 1.8% (5,120).

In addition, the data showed tourist arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 50.3% attracting 142,802 visits while Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, had a market share of 49.7% or 140,985 trips. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Leprosy Hospital Expands as Cases Increase

November 9th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

About 20 leprosy patients have been treated at a rehabilitated and expanded wing of the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital, the second hospital to offer professional treatment for leprosy patients in Cambodia.

“We have two doctors and one nurse who specialize in leprosy treatment, and in the four months since we opened, we have received about 20 patients,” said Khak Seila, the hospital’s director.

Harald Schmid de Gruneck, head of mission of the Comite International de l’Ordre de Malte (CIOMAL), said that the formerly small leprosy clinic is now fully functioning with modern equipment to perform reconstructive surgery and administer medication. …

“Until this year, Kien Khleang was the only reference center for treating leprosy patients, and there are many cases from Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap [provinces], and to not have them all travel all the way to Phnom Penh, we decided to have one there again,” in Battambang, Mr. de Gruneck said, adding that there was no official date for the opening of the clinic, but that patients were already being treated. …

Since the early 2000s, the number of leprosy cases in Cambodia started to decrease, but infections have increased again in recent years.

“In 2002, there were some 714 cases [of leprosy] and then it went down, down, down…and in 2010 we had 252 new cases. We asked if the situation is actually improving because there are fewer cases, or because due to a lack of resources and means the cases are not found,” Mr. de Gruneck said.

The number of cases had increased to 475 by last year, according to CIOMAL. …

Denise Hruby

Muhibbah JV bags RM276m projects for Cambodia’s airports

November 7th, 2013 , The Star Online

Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd and its joint venture partner has secured two contracts valued at US$87mil (RM276mil) to build and expand two airports in Cambodia. …

Muhibbah has a 30% stake in SCA [Societe Concessionnaire de L’Aeroport]. The duration for the Phnom Penh Airport and Siem Reap Airport is 28 months and 23 months respectively and both are expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

The Star Online News Staff