Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said the construction industry in the country remains stable despite a serious downturn facing many sectors globally due to impact of COVID-19.

Khmer Times quoted the ministry’s spokesperson Seng Lot as saying that construction projects are on the rise in the Southeast Asian country.

He noted more than 500 construction projects applied for permits with the ministry by the end of February this year, compared to only 300 applications pending in the same time period in 2019, which showed the industry isn’t being negatively impacted.

The top three investors are China, the Republic of Korea and Japan, he said, adding that despite a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Cambodia, there has been no postponement of major construction projects.

According to the ministry’s official figures, investment in the sector reached around 11 billion USD in 2019, surging by nearly 90 percent from the 5.5 billion USD in 2018.

Kim Heang, regional operating principal of the US-based real estate firm Keller William Cambodia, said the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic could provide a golden opportunity for savvy construction companies as the price of construction materials and construction labour is going down, while at the same time, registered developers are also benefitting from a four-percent stamp tax exemption from the government from February 2020 to January 2021./.