China-based Guangzhou Co. Ltd. plans to inject $3 billion in building luxury six-star hotels in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, an aide to Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday.
“The investment plan was raised during a meeting between Samdech [Hun Sen] and Mr. Zhang Li, the chairman of Guangzhou, when they met today,” said Eang Sophalleth.
“This is the fourth time that Mr. Zhang Li has visited Cambodia and he has great confidence in the country’s economy and its potential to attract tourists,” added Mr. Sophalleth.
According to the premier’s aide, Mr. Zhang Li also met Kith Meng, chairman of the mega Royal Group and president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.
“Both of them discussed the timeframe for the investment and Mr. Zhang Li agreed to invest around $3 billion in the next three to five years,” said Mr. Sophalleth.
“One of the first projects will be the building luxury six-star hotels in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville,” he added. Mr. Sophalleth also said that Mr. Hun Sen wanted Mr. Zhang Li to work with Mr. Kith Meng.
“This would be a great partnership as Mr. Kith Meng is the doyen of Cambodia’s business community and Mr. Zhang Li’s Guangzhou is a multi-investment company with a very good track record in the hotel and real estate sectors,” he added.
Mr. Sophalleth said the $3 billion Chinese investment also came at an opportune moment, when the number of tourists visiting the country is expected to increase.
Cambodia last year recorded around 900,000 Chinese tourist arrivals and the kingdom is on track by 2020 to host about seven million foreign tourists, with two million of them coming from mainland China, according to the Tourism Ministry.
“The success of this investment is also a socio-political success for China in its ‘One Belt One Road’ policy where there is connectivity between East Asia, Southeast Asia and the world, with benefits for Cambodia,” said Mr. Sophalleth.
Last June, a group of Chinese investors announced that they planned to establish a $3 billion international resort center in Preah Sihanouk province to tap into the kingdom’s burgeoning tourism industry.
A representative of East Union Silk Road, one of the joint-venture investment companies in the project, told Khmer Times that the resort would cover 337 hectares of land in a large tourism area.
Guangzhou’s flagship is Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. Ltd. and according to a Reuters Financial Service’s profile, it is principally engaged in the development of properties.
According to Moody’s Investors Services, Guangzhou R&F achieved contracted sales of 60.9 billion yuan ($8.76 billion), representing a year-over-year growth of 12 percent.
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