How has the Construction Industry in Cambodia Improved

The construction industry is the backbone of an economy, considering a number of sectors are reliant on it. For example, the quality of life of local Cambodian residents would prove to be difficult if there are only a limited number of commercial and residential real estate available in the market. This is why it’s especially important that the construction industry continues to innovate in terms of project, speed, and quality to ensure that other sectors further improve.

Over the last few years, Cambodia’s construction industry has undergone major changes that affected their projects in a good way alongside the community. To know the modern breakthroughs that have affected the industry, we’ve curated a detailed list below.

Increase in construction projects

A staggering number of construction projects have been approved in Cambodia over the years with the numbers having a steady growth each year. Within 2008 until 2018 alone, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUC) of Cambodia reportedly approved 43,136 projects. These projects amounted to more than $43.3 billion in investment capital.

In 2021 alone, MLMUC approved 4,302 new development projects that amount to 12,998,072 square meters. While all sectors of the real estate industry have an influx of developments, this is especially apparent in residential real estate within busy cities like Phnom Penh. For example, the supply of condominium units in the city was recorded at 21,935 at the end of the second quarter in 2020 by Knight Frank. This will increase by the end of 2023 to 53,512 units and this is only in Phnom Penh since other cities’ construction projects are on the upside as well.

Surge of foreign and local investors

Behind the influx of construction and development projects in Cambodia is a significant number of local and foreign investors. Considering the landscape of real estate in Cambodia is not as modern as other countries, it provides all kinds of investors the opportunity to profit all the while helping move along the country’s development.

Additionally, while there are local investors, the biggest contributor to construction projects are foreign investors. According to a report released by MLMUC in 2019 alone, from January to April of that year, they approved over $367 million foreign investments. At the forefront of foreign investors though is China wherein they were accounted for 315 million investment for construction projects. 

Fast-paced construction projects

A dependable and good construction project cannot be rushed, however, it can be fast-tracked if you have a good team with you. This is especially true now in the construction industry in Cambodia where a number of experienced companies take on numerous projects one after another. Commercial and residential projects are completed within one year to three years, contributing quickly to the good of that community and the economy.

While projects can still be delayed due to a number of reasons, they’re often completed with only a one or two year delay. However, the fast-paced completion of projects can be a deterrent in creativity. According to an interview with CEO Pawel Siudecki of The Room, an architectural and design company, they have to push boundaries to be creative in their projects due to their quick nature. Despite this though, the quality they still provide are apparent.

Focusing on sustainable projects

One key thing that most, if not all, construction projects in Cambodia do is to ensure that it promotes sustainable living. Within rural areas of the country as well as known tourist spots like Siem Reap, there are more areas filled with forests and nature. However, to develop the country, construction projects were pushed through but not all considered making it eco-friendly.

Moreover, in populous cities like Phnom Penh, there are more buildings than there are green areas like parks where you can simply relax and take in the scenery. Due to this, sustainability and green environment are what most recent and new construction projects prioritize in their plans. Even more so since the value of projects that fall under “green” developments are higher.

International standards for green buildings are followed to ensure quality in Cambodia. Among these, the green certification system Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED) established in the United States has awarded certifications for some buildings in the country. 

Most notably is the Vattanac Capital which was awarded with a gold LEED certification. It has two massive towers and stands tall with 39 floors located in Phnom Penh. This building contains not only a luxury hotel but office and retail spaces as well as service apartments. There is also a bar on its rooftop, providing a variety of options for those who’ll visit. 

Since Vattanac Capital was the first gold LEED certified project in Cambodia, more buildings will be constructed following international green and sustainable standards.

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