Chinese own as much as 90 pct of all businesses in Sihanoukville

As many as 90 percent of businesses in Sihanoukville are owned by Chinese nationals, according to a report from Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities.

Speaking during a meeting in Preah Sihanouk on Monday, the provincial police chief said the province has become a hub for Chinese investment – especially in areas such as hotels, guesthouses, casinos, restaurants and other businesses, he said. 

Out of 156 hotels and guest houses in the region, 150 of them are Chinese-owned, while out of 62 casinos, 48 as invested in by the Chinese, he said. 

Locals have previously voiced their concerns over the concentration of Chinese money in the region. 

On Monday, Pacific Asia Travel Association president Thourn Sinan told The Post that no market should be more than half invested in by investors from a single country.

“I believe it is good if investments are multinational. Investors from one country should not exceed 50 percent [investment in one market] because it will lose balance in development and in the market.”

“Investors from one country taking control of such large investments will have more negative effects than positive,” he said.

There are fears that over-investment from the Chinese could lead to the country losing its national identity, employment opportunities for locals, social security problems, among others. 

Last month, a Chinese-owned development collapsed, leading to the death of 28 construction workers. The disaster has prompted the government to create a task force aimed at checking and enforcing construction permits across the region. 

Asia Gaming Brief is organizing the Mekong Gaming Summit from September 10-12, 2019, discussing these issues and more.

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