The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has decided that NagaCorp’s resort at Angkor Wat should not go forward.
Cambodia.- The Cambodian government has put a stop to NagaCorp’s plans to build a US$350m non-gaming resort at the UNESCO world heritage site Angkor Wat.
NagaCorp was reported to have received a 50-year lease on a plot of land back in November, but yesterday, the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC-Angkor) said the plan “cannot be implemented”.
The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has stood by the committee’s decision, citing a review that took place on January 27 during the plenary session of ICC-Angkor and two subsequent sessions. The review took into consideration NagaCorp’s proposal and comments.
UNESCO also raised concerns with the proposed project last month. It said in statement: “The proximity of the project to the protected buffer zones of the [Angkor Wat] site as well as the scale, scope, and concept of the planned activities could indeed have an impact on the outstanding universal value for which Angkor was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“UNESCO is certain that the Cambodian authorities remain fully committed to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and will ensure that the protection of the outstanding universal value of Angkor remains at the heart of the decision-making processes relating to the property and its surroundings.”
Last year Moody’s graded the project “credit negative”, taking into account that NagaCorp is already committed to other major projects, including the phase 3 expansion of NagaWorld, which will be funded by its chief executive, Chen Lip Keong.