Koh Sramoch development okayed

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The project will improve the value of Preah Sihanouk province’s tourism industry, as well as increase the prominence of the area nationally and regionally, according to the provincial deputy governor. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

The government has greenlit development of Koh Sramoch in Preah Sihanouk province after the investment company the island had been leased to revised its master plan for the site to focus on tourism development.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche told The Post that the Cambodian Investment Board, under the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration had on May 27 jointly approved a new master plan for the Koh Sramoch, or Ant Island, development project by Ream Resort and Development Co Ltd.

 

He said the decision came after the local investment company applied to the CDC with a new master plan for the development project, which focuses on the construction of hotels and resorts that aim to contribute to the growth of the national economy.

The deputy governor said that the project will provide job opportunities for locals in Preah Sihanouk, improve the value of the province’s tourism industry, as well as increase the prominence of the area nationally and regionally.

“Koh Sramoch is a good location not far from the mainland, which can attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit. This development project has high potential,” he said.

Ream Resort and Development has been collaborating with foreign experts to make its master plan for the island attractive and competitive both regionally and globally.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearum said that the investment company signed a policy and lease agreement with the government in 2008 to develop the island. Its most recent revision of the master plan for the site focused on developing it into a natural tourism destination.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan told The Post that he welcomed the new master plan for the island. Having observed that a number of islands in the Kingdom have been abandoned, he said that there should be more such development plans for other islands in Cambodia.

 

“When we have more new tourism facilities and attractions, we will entice more tourists … I welcome this project,” he said.

But he stressed that all development must comply strictly with Cambodian standards and laws, adding that for the Koh Sramoch development project in particular, the environment, natural resources and sanitation around the island must be as well-maintained as that of the development project on nearby Koh Song Saa.

Sinan also took aim at companies that have concocted master plans for the sole purpose of receiving investment rights in order to be able to sub-let land to other companies, saying this has been to the detriment of Cambodia’s development.

The Ministry of Commerce’s business registry lists two companies by the name Ream Resort and Development Co Ltd – both based in the same village of the capital’s Chamkarmon district – with addresses in Laos’ capital Vientiane given for one non-chairman director in each company, named “Chio Wai” in the firm incorporated on 2005 and “Li Guangyan” in the other established in 2007. “Heng Sithy” is listed as chairman of both firms.