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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cambodian property market fears crisis

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's real estate boom maybe coming to an end, with the global financial meltdown threatening foreign investment, national media reported Friday.

"Our property markets are closely connected with the stock markets in South Korea and other Asian countries. If these markets fall, we are affected," Kang Chandararot, the head of the economists at the Cambodia Institute of Development Study, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

"We will see a recession in the short term, perhaps in six to 12 months," he said.

The South Korean government issued a statement this week urging banks to sell foreign assets to increase liquidity, the Post said.

South Korea is Cambodia's biggest investor and a fall in South Korea would be especially harmful to local growth, it said.

"South Korean and other Asian markets are very closely connected to the U.S., and these countries are our biggest investors," said Kang Chandararot.

Cambodia's real estate sector has enjoyed unprecedented growth since 2007, but began to slide in mid-2008, industry sources say.

No figures on the depth of the declines were available, but industry experts said the crisis' impact could be felt soon.

Meanwhile, Cheam Yeap, a lawmaker with the Cambodian People's Party and chairman of the National Banking and Finance Committee, said the U.S. crisis might affect the Kingdom's real estate market, but not the economy as a whole.

He said Cambodia's economy is sufficiently diversified in tourism, agriculture and garment manufacturing to withstand the global crisis.
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US Navy destroyer takes port call - in Cambodia

Sihanoukville, Cambodia (dpa) - A US destroyer arrived in the southern Cambodia deepwater port of Sihanoukville on Saturday for a five-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.

The 155-metre USS Mustin (DDG-89), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, arrived with its crew of nearly 300 to embark on a goodwill mission, which will include free dental clinics, repairs of local schools and hospitals and other humanitarian work.

The crew will also conduct training programs with the Cambodian naval personnel. There will also be demonstration operations, including one on disaster rescue.

Sihanoukville is about 240 kilometres from the capital, Phnom Penh.

"This is an example of the commitment of the US and Cambodian navies to good relations in the region, and is a commitment by the US towards strengthening regional security," Captain Charles William said at a welcoming ceremony.

This is the third visit of a US naval vessel to Cambodia in recent years after visits were suspended from the 1970s when the Khmer Rouge took power.

Officials said the free dental clinic will operate out of a local Buddhist pagoda from Sunday. The visit is scheduled to end Wednesday.

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Vietnam, Cambodia reinforce communication links

The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications has reached a number of wide-ranging cooperation agreements with the Cambodian ministries of Information, and Post and Telecommunication.

The agreements were made in talks between Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop, Cambodian Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith and Minister of Post and Telecommunication So Khun during Hop’s visit to Cambodia from October 8 -11.

The ministers agreed to increase the exchange of visits by managers, pressmen, and post and telecommunication officials to share management skills, formulating management regulations for the press and post and telecommunications sectors, improving professional skills, and developing infrastructural facilities for radio, television, and telecom stations.

They pledged to create favourable conditions and an attractive environment for post and telecommunication businesses to invest in and conduct business in each other’s countries.

The Cambodian officials also requested the assistance of the Vietnamese side in human resources training and enhancing the management of press, internet and telecom services.

During the visit, Minister Hop and his entourage were received by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who referred to the visit as a major contribution to consolidating the traditional friendship between the two countries and further bolstering cooperation and assistance between the ministries.

Ministers Hop and So Khun co-chaired the Vietnamese-Cambodian Post and Telecom Businesses’ Forum in Phnom Penh Friday. Hop also conducted a tour of a branch of the Vietnamese military-run Viettel company and visited several post and telecom units in the host country.

Source: VNA
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