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Construction projects valued at more than $44B

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Cambodian labourers work under the rain on a high-rise building construction site in Sihanoukville. Thousands of Cambodians pushed by poverty seek to cash in on the once sleepy seaside town’s Chinese-funded construction boom. But the work is mostly unregulated, low paid, often dangerous – and sometimes deadly. SUN RETHY KUN/AFP

Construction projects valued at more than $44B

Construction projects completed in the Kingdom since 2000, today have a total value of more than $44 billion, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara.

Sophara was speaking during a meeting held on Thursday regarding construction control in the wake of the collapse of a Chinese-owned seven-storey building in Preah Sihanouk province last month that killed 28 people and injured 26.

He said that from the beginning of 2000 to May this year, the ministry approved 45,264 now completed construction projects nationwide, which have a total value of $44.57 billion.

“Currently, the ministry is sending a number of experts to study the construction quality of both completed buildings and ones under construction,” Sophara said.

He said many problems have been caused due to the Kingdom’s projects being built without adhering to construction laws, without sufficient quality standards and without hiring a single competent construction firm.

“I would like to call on construction companies to follow their original construction plans in order to avoid accusing each other when problems occur. All construction must be done in line with planning, taking into consideration the conditions for residents once they move in,” he said.

According to Sophara, investment capital in the construction sector last year was worth more than $5.2 million and employed more than 200,000 “young people”.

He said there are 1,324 high-rises nationwide that are at least five storeys tall, as well as 258 residential project sites.

Cambodia has achieved an average annual economic growth of around seven per cent over the past two decades, with the construction sector among the main engines for economic growth during this period.

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