A Change of Guard

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Monday, 13 June 2016

National Road 1 quietly develops

Traffic remains busy along National Road 1. Pha Lina


National Road 1 quietly develops
Thu, 9 June 2016 ppp
Siv Meng

Some low-key developments can be seen along National Road 1 as many developers and large investors continue to snap up land in this area.

National Road 1 is located to the south of the ASEAN region, connecting Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Chrek Soknim, CEO of Century 21 Mekong, labelled the development trend on National Road 1 as “low-key” because he has seen many Chinese and Japanese investors approaching local developers to buy and invest in land along the road.

One particular Chinese company is planning to build an international hospital in the area because the road is poised to be a trade and commercial transit road in the future, according to Soknim.

Nonetheless, he did not disclose the construction schedule of the hospital.

Soknim said, “The land prices along this road have increased. Property developments, such as villas that are being constructed here have gathered quite a lot of interest.” He added, “My company has sold at least 20 villas recently.”

Oknha Noun Rithy, chairman of the Khmer Foundation Appraisal, said Chinese and Japanese investors are scoping the area for future potential as a short-distance land and water trading connection to Vietnam.

“The land prices along this road have yet to increase because the prices that the people here have sold are 20 to 30 per cent higher than market price, but the owners are adjusting to the market price now,” he said.

Land prices along National Road 1 vary depending on the area.

For instance, land from Monivong Bridge to Borey Peng Huoth costs from $1,500 to $2,500 while land from Borey Peng Huoth to the Tiger Beer Brewery costs from $800 to $1,200 per square metre. Land from the Tiger Beer Brewery to Korki Market costs between $350 to $500, and land from Korki Market to Nek Learng costs from $50 to $150 per square meter, Rithy explained.

He added that there are many industrial parks being constructed along this road, with companies developing in this special economic zone coming mainly from China, Japan, and Hong Kong. There are currently up to four special economic zones being constructed along the road from Neak Leung to Phnom Penh.

Rithy said, “The area around National Road 1 will become an industrial area. The land prices will automatically increase because there are many demands.”

Additionally, Council for the Development of Cambodia’s (CDC) secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said the government would continue to improve infrastructure in Bavet City, a key economic area located along National Road 1 near the border point of Cambodia and Vietnam, to increase the city’s potential as a storage area, as well as a connecting point to transport goods between Thailand and Vietnam.

Her Bavy, CEO of Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, owns two ports; one in Phnom Penh, the other in Kean Svay district, Kandal province. He said the Phnom Penh port is expanding the capacity and ship gateways. The port can currently hold 100,000 containers, but after the expansion, it will be able to hold 300,000 containers, whereas the docks will deepen from being five metres to seven metres.

With these port upgrades, trade along National Road 1 would be made more efficient, especially once the industrial parks being developed by the China, Japan and Hong Kong companies are completed.

However, Ra Net, a resident in Prek Thom Village, Sangkat Kbal Koh, Chamkarmorn district along National Road 1, said the land prices around that road are at a deadlock because land owners are demanding steep prices.

The asking price for land along this road is between $200 and $400 per square metre for the inner roads. He said there are many Chinese and Japanese companies pouring in and buying cheaper land further away from National Road 1 itself.

He said, “From what I’ve heard, the Chinese are planning to build MSG factories in this area.”

“Borey and commercial development along this road by Vattanac Properties Limited will begin soon.”

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