Cambodia’s leading trust, investment advisory, and real-estate listing companies have joined forces to better promote the legal framework for international investors to enter the Cambodian property market.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Michael Chiam, board director of Prince Trust and Chief Financial Officer of Prince Holding Group, Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, and Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of Realestate.com.kh.
The three parties will work towards the co-creation of joint capabilities in attracting investment by providing a seamless, trustworthy, and transparent experience for foreign investors. As well as collaborate on opportunities in attracting inbound investments through Cambodia’s Trust Law.
The 1993 Cambodian Constitution states that only persons or legal entities of Khmer nationality have the right to own land. In 2019, the Royal Cambodian Government implemented its Trust Law to set out rules and procedures to establish, register, manage and control four types of trusts which are Commercial Trust, Public Trust, Social Trust, and Personal Trust.
The new law now allows foreign investors to purchase land in Cambodia through a ‘Trust Company’. This method is similar to a landholding company method but less complicated as foreign investors do not have to deal with forming a company and other expenses such as tax.
Educating investors on the new trust law
Speaking at the co-signing event Michael Chiam, board director of Prince Trust commented that the company, which is part of Prince Holding Group, was established to assist foreign investors looking to venture into Cambodia by promoting trust law and the strong potential of Cambodian real estate.
Adding that Prince Trust was a market leader and aimed to become a regional expert in delivering corporate and fiduciary services to institutions, companies, and individuals.
“Prince Trust can hold landed properties in Cambodia on behalf of foreign entities and individuals. In addition to asset safekeeping, Prince Trust can assist in property asset (both landed and buildings) management, rental income collection, and sale of property assets,” he said.
Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of the online listing site Realestate.com.kh commented that over 50% of web traffic is from international markets, including all throughout Asia in countries like China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and more as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors from Europe, America, Australia, and others.
“One of the main goals at Realestate.com.kh is to educate these international investors and local homebuyers to ensure they are making smart real estate decisions when considering property in the Cambodian market,” O’Sullivan said.
“We have been aware of the recent Trust law in Cambodia and have somewhat explored this at realestate.com.kh, without publishing too much information on it. As we felt that it was best to watch and observed as it slowly developed and started to be implemented and take shape,” he added.
Attracting more international investors
Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management reflected on his own experience of investing in Cambodia outlining the tremendous opportunities on offer for international investors calling Cambodia the land of opportunity.
“Since investing in our own company in 2009 we have been able to grow with the Cambodian economy and are now encouraging others to invest along with us in the market,” Galliano said.
“As we are now, hopefully, in the last leg of COVID we are also preparing for a surge in the return of international investors to come and explore Cambodia’s great property market as for Chinese investors we expect to see their return next year,” he added.
Cambodia’s property and construction sectors are considered an economic pillar of the local economy accounting for approximately 30% of GDP. Data presented by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction showed that 4,303 new construction projects, which have a cumulative floor area of 12,998,072 sqm, were approved last year.