Cambodia has a lot of laws and regulations on what you can and can’t build and where you can build it. It also has a lot of agents who are willing to offer advice without doing the legwork to guide you through the red tape, according to members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Simon Vancliff is the chief executive officer of WB Sport Village Co Ltd. The company is building the condominium blocks that will house the athletes during the 2023 Southeast-Asian Games and then be sold to private investors.
Sited next to the newly-opened Morodok Techo National Stadium, the land had to be developed carefully to meet national and local regulations and also fit in with the concept of the sports facility. Vancliff said only someone with the experience and qualifications provided by RICS membership could have developed the site successfully.
“In Cambodia there’s a lot of agents but they are not consultants,” he said. “Consultants are people that can give an all-round view and address all concerns of their client to give them the best advice possible when either selling or purchasing or changing their property. A lot of the time I spend in the office is doing highest and best-use on projects to understand what is the best thing to do and give transparent advice to my shareholders and investors. There’s also a lot of intangibles in there. When considering the highest value it may not just mean the financial factor but developing parks, places where people can go and have a nice time but at the same time the developer can get their return on investment,” he said.
“There is a path for pretty much everything… typically everyone thinks that RICS is all about valuations and it does revolve around a lot of valuations because a lot of decisions come from making the most money. But if you want to study rural development, you’re welcome to do it,” he said.
RICS was founded in London in 1868 to improve integrity, professionalism and transparency in land, property and construction. There are now around 3,000 qualified members in Southeast-Asia. Members need a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience before they can study 22 different pathways with 20 competencies. Skills include property valuation, building and quantity surveying, land management and land surveying.
“It is needed in order to provide guidance to its members and to professionals globally,” said Bill Jones, project director at the Singapore office of consultancy and project management company Turner & Townsend. “It’s linked to ongoing training. It’s something that’s required for licensing, not just for RICS but in different countries it’s very much part of the regulatory framework. For example in Malaysia, and last-but-not-least its linked into global regulation,” said Jones, who also overseas RICS in Southeast-Asia.
His comments came at a webinar organised by the European Chamber of Commerce, which has more than 300 local and international members in Cambodia.
EuroCham is running two more real estate session on September 22 and 27 looking at green building and hazardous construction materials.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.