Chinese Plan Mega-Resort for SihanoukVille

Chinese Plan Mega-Resort for SihanoukVille

As part of the One Belt, One Road strategy, a group of Chinese investors have announced a plan for a USD3 billion international resort development project in Sihanoukville province to capitalise on the Kingdom’s prospering tourism industry.

The Meas Prak (gold and silver) Beach Resort Development Project will be developed on 337 hectares of land, some 18kmfrom Preah Sihanoukville and 7.3km from Preah Sihanouk International Airport. This mega-resort is a joint venture between Cambodia and thirteen Chinese firms including East Union Silk Road, CITS and Yeejia Tourism Development.

The plan aims to transform the gold and silver region into an attractive tourism destination with condos, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and golf courses.

Speaking at the 25 June inauguration of the Piloting Property and Finance Industry Integration One Belt, One Road and the Piloting Mekong Lancang Cooperation Sub-region, a representative of East Union Silk Road told assembled media that the project master plan will explore a new international business operation model to enhance trading capacity, initiate investment financing seminars by utilising the integration of the property and finance industries as well as integrating with Sihanoukville properties.

“The project will become the biggest future international tourism centre with the best services and environment in Cambodia, that will include health tourism, and be a haven for retirees,” he said. “Some of the major facilities will be; an international conference centre to host large scale conferences, exhibitions, and cultural exchange events related to the ‘One Belt, One Road and Mekong Lancang Cooperation’. It will transform the area to become the first model green region for countries that receive the impacts of the One Belt, One Road policy.”

The project agreement, according to AKP, was signed in Phnom Penh by the joint venture partners on 21 March, 2016 and reconfirmed at the 1st First Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders’ Meeting in Lao PDR on 31 March 2016.

Speaking at the project signing ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodian Tourism Minister H.E. Thong Khon said the investment project reflects not only Chinese investors’ confidence in the Cambodian market, but also the increasing trade and investment relations between Cambodia and China.

H.E. Ms. Bu Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia expressed her optimism that the Gold and Silver Beach Resort Development Project will attract more and more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia.

The development project responds to Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s intention to receive up to two million Chinese tourists by 2020. 2015 saw Cambodia receive about 4.5 million international tourists, of who around 800,000 were Chinese visitors, the second highest ranked nationality.

Mr. Chhit Sengnguon, Deputy Governor of Preah Sihanouk province told the Khmer Times in March that although he wasn’t informed about this massive development, he believes it will only improve the economy of the province.

According to Mr. Chhit, no large-scale development projects had been announced for the province in the first five months of 2016. He also pointed out the provincial government can only approve projects worth less than USD2 million. Any project worth more, such as this massive Chinese development, would need to be approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). He further noted that the number of tourists in the province reached 1.3 million in the first five months this year, up 16 percent compared to the same period last year.

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