Koh Kong ‘Vacation Town’ to cost $1.2B

Source : Phnom Penh Post

A golf course in front of an almost-complete hotel inside the Union Development Group’s massive resort area in Koh Kong’s Kiri Sakor district in 2014. Sreng Meng Srun

Union Development Group (UDG), the Chinese developer behind Koh Kong province’s $3.8 billion tourism project called Dara Sakor, has unveiled plans for yet another project called “Tourism Vacation Town”.

The announcement comes despite the company releasing little information about its previously touted venture.

News of the plan was disseminated via the Ministry of Commerce’s (MoC) Facebook page on Monday, after UDG’s board director Li Tao met Cambodian Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak.

The MoC’s press release said Tao had told Sorasak that his firm plans to invest another $1.2 billion to develop 1,200ha of land in Koh Kong.

The company plans to build a new town called “Tourism Vacation Town”, consisting of a five-star hotel, modern condominiums, commercial office buildings and a resort.

While construction is expected to begin early next year, MoC spokesman Seang Thay said on Tuesday that he had not received details about the project.

Thay said the company plans to put its business model on display during the China-Asean Expo in Nanning later this month. He said the meeting with Sorasak was to inform the government of the action plan.

“The company did not come to meet the minister in order to have the project approved, but to reveal the plan and seek support before taking it to display at the exhibition,” he said, adding that he, too, is in the dark about the specifics of the plan.

“It is a big project, and that is why it might need a long time to complete.”

The MoC did not say which area of Koh Kong the new project will be built in.

UDG, a subsidiary of state-owned Chinese real estate developer Wanlong Group, holds a 45,000-hectare land concession in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor and Kiri Sakor districts.

In 2008, it received a 99-year lease approval to build Dara Sakor Seashore Resort – a project that consist of a casino and golf course within Botum Sakor National Park.

Little information about the project and its progress is available to the public. It is still unclear how much money has been spent.

Neither a representative of the company nor Koh Kong’s provincial governor could be reached for comment as of press time.

The announcement comes amid a surge of China-backed development projects along the country’s southern coast. Most are aimed at the growing number of tourists from China that have been spending time in the Kingdom.

Sihanoukville, in particular, has seen property prices skyrocket due to the growing interest by Chinese investors. Real estate sources report that land parcels in some areas have nearly doubled in price over the last few years.

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