The value of construction approvals granted by the government increased 43 percent in the first two months of the year, compared to the same period in 2011, figures show. Some 315 potential projects, worth US$281 million, were given the go-ahead in the period, compared with 340 construction projects, worth $197 million, approved last year, according to Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction figures obtained this week.
The ministry’s Construction Department Director Lao Tip Seiha said that the growth was, in part, due to an increase in the construction of coal-power plants, oil refineries and satellite cities.
“We have indeed seen a sharp increase in construction investment, which provides job opportunities, for skilled and unskilled labor, and helps alleviate poverty,” he said, adding that it also boosts the state’s income.
Growth in the sector has also led to increased demand for domestic and imported construction materials, he said.
“Manufacturer are happy because the number of order has grown, compared to last year, when the market was still unstable.”
Chhim Mao Charo, a Phnom Penh-based construction business owner, said that while projects in the city had increased, sales at the company had only increased by 20 percent.
“As long as demand for housing continues to increase, the sector has nothing to worry about,” she said, adding that while the Kingdom is capable of producing materials, such as bricks and cement, it still relied on the regional import of products, such as steel.