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- February 3, 2020 11:43 AM
PHNOM PENH — Prime Minister Hun Manet launched on Jan. 31 a special program for Preah Sihanouk province to boost investments by resolving unfinished constructions through tax incentives for investors in 2024.
Located along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, the province and its capital, the city of Sihanoukville, have been touted as a new economic region with great potential for both tourism and transportation, with the Cambodian government aiming to turn the province into an industrial zone with high technology and a hub for international financial markets.
“The province supports development in other provinces because of its logistic sector,” Manet said on Jan. 31 during the Special Programme to Promote Investment in Preah Sihanouk Province 2024 event. “Therefore, recovering the construction sector in Preah Sihanouk province will also effect other provinces in a positive way.”
In order to accomplish this, investment estimated at $1,161 million will be needed to complete the 362 buildings under construction in the province. Meanwhile, there are 176 finished buildings that are yet to be put to use, said Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth during the same event on Jan. 31.
“Since 2016, investments in the province have dramatically increased, especially through the building of a rising number of hotels, restaurants, shops, and accommodations,” he said.
“However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition in socio-economic development in late 2019 hindered the process of many construction projects, leading to suspension and abandonment,” he added.
Tax incentive measures to attract investors
A series of measures has been taken to support the province’s economic recovery. These include building the Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville expressway and infrastructure across the province, according to Pornmoniroth.
The special program launched on Jan. 31 by Hun Manet will provide benefits to investors through tax incentives in Preah Sihanouk province with the goal of addressing the unfinished and finished buildings, and accelerating existing projects in the province.
In the program, Manet set out some measures for the investors of unfinished construction projects, completed buildings, and existing projects.
These measures include three years of tax exemption and tax relief on incomes, and minimum taxes; full value-added-tax (VAT) exemption for building construction, and for finishing or repairing buildings; five years of withholding tax exemption on rental real estate; and property-tax and administrative sanction exemption.
The government will also grant exemption of public-service fee and fee in excess of land use index for construction-related permits; facilitate permit application procedures for construction-related works; and provide incentives regarding inspection fees and other construction-related certificates.
Lastly, investors will receive facilitation when applying for licenses, certificates, and permits for their investments and businesses. The provincial authorities will also create a real estate market, provide investor-matching services (including reference pricing for real estate in Sihanoukville), and promote the out-of-court dispute resolution for investment-related disputes.
Shooting range licenses to be no longer issued
During the event on Jan. 31, Prime Minister Hun Manet expressed his disapproval of opening more shooting ranges, adding that the two current clubs in the province would close as the province is for tourism activity.
“You don’t come to Preah Sihanouk province to shoot,” Manet said. “You shall come to the province for island trips. Do not shoot.”
The prime minister ordered that the provincial authorities cease issuing private licenses to open gun clubs.
The goal is to eliminate all shooting ranges in the province as they make tourists feel unsafe and worried for their safety when they hear gunshots, Hun Manet said.
If the shooting ranges still exist, they might become places where guns and bullets are sold, he said. Gun use and shooting is for the police force, not for civilians, Manet said.
The prime minister added that a sub-decree related to license issuance for shooting ranges is currently being drafted.