Cambodia breaks ground on tallest skyscraper

Niki May Young
Wednesday 18 Jun 2008

Cambodia booming as they break ground on highest skyscraper

Having recently celebrated breaking ground on their first ever skyscraper, Gold Tower 42, in March, Cambodians now have further reason to smile as they break ground on the country’s highest skyscraper today. The International Finance Complex (IFC) will stand at 52-storeys high, a full ten storeys higher than Gold Tower 42, making it the tallest man-made structure in Cambodia's history and only the second skyscraper to be built in the country.

IFC, Gold Tower 42 and a third skyscraper, River Palace, will be built in the low-rise capital city of Phnom Pehn, which has previously been kept free of towers to preserve views to and from the Royal Palaces, and will now function as the city's biggest landmark.

Cambodia has suffered from political and economic instability for many years due to decades of conflict and is considered to be one of the world’s poorest countries. But annual economic growth in 2006, as late as statistics have been available, was at 10.8% compared to the UK’s 3.25% in the same year (which has now fallen to 2.5% in the first quarter of 2008) and the recent building spurt further suggests a growing economy in the South East Asian country.

Foreign Investment is to account for the building with South Korea’s GS E &C company spending $300 million on Gold Tower 42 and over three times as much, $1 billion, on the IFC project. GS E&C’s business remit covers investments, civil, architectural, plant, environmental and power services. President and CEO of the company, Kevin K.R. Kim said: “GS E&C will strive to successively accomplish the project and build Cambodia’s tomorrow, building a foundation of the partnership between Cambodia and Korea.”

IFC’s tower will contribute to three zones planned by GS E&C: Business, School and Residential, offering 275 serviced apartments, a convention centre, an international school and six high-rise apartment buildings accommodating 1,064 units. The tower is due for completion in March 2012.

Niki May Young

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