Interview with Michel Cassagnes, Managing Director of Archetype Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

This week, we interviewed Michel Cassagnes, Managing Director of Archetype Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and Chairman of the EuroCham Real Estate and Construction Committee

EuroCham: As the chairman of the Real Estate and Construction Committee, what are your committee's top priorities going into 2023?

Michel:  For 2023, the committee has set three priorities. First and foremost, it's to better serve our members. The global pandemic Covid-19 did not have an immediate effect on the sector, but for two years, no developments were launched so this ripple effect is hindering the sector now. We must listen to all actors in the real estate and construction sector, and understand the consequences created by this slowdown in terms of volume and project orientation.   

Second, we have strengthened the relationship with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to share the concern of the sector. On the 1st of April 2022, we renewed our MoU to pursue strong collaboration, as many challenges are coming with the enforcement of the construction law and upcoming decrees on construction standards.  

Our last priority is to engage with the sector in the neighbouring countries to share best practices and expertise in the region. Recently, I was elected as the Chairman of the Construction Committee at Eurocham Vietnam, and I hope to create better links between the two countries.  

Since 2014, our committee has organized six forums. This seventh edition aims to gather professionals from the region.

EuroCham: Will there be any differences between the 2023 Real Estate and Construction Forum and the previous one?  

Michel:  The Real Estate and Construction Forum in 2023 has a new format. We will launch the White Book dedicated to our sector.  

Second, we'll alter the session's format so that there will be fewer presentations and more debates. The aim is to have an interactive forum. The audience will directly ask questions to speakers thanks to an online app.  

Thirdly, to connect with future professionals, we will display some work from universities, and for the first time, there will be an exhibition on Sihanoukville's future extension master plan done 15 years ago by the Architect David Mangin.  

EuroCham: You'll launch a new White Book Chapter, and you will moderate the session on Sihanoukville at the upcoming Real Estate and Construction Forum. Could you give us a small preview of what your talk will entail?

Michel:  In terms of the White Book Chapter, five of the twelve recommendations in the White Book Chapter have been followed by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction. This demonstrates that the private sector is one of the great contributors to Cambodia's real estate and construction development.  

Regarding the Future of Cities in Cambodia, the vision is definitely changing. The pandemic has enhanced the importance of well-being, green spaces, entertainment and communities. People are looking for new ways to live, work, and play. Our focused session on Sihanoukville will illustrate how a small town can become a model city. We will have the opportunity to discuss with H.E Long Dimanche, Deputy Governor of the Province, about his vision and upcoming multipurpose master plan

EuroCham: Just a few words for this answer: Why should people come to the REC Forum?  

 Michel: To share their vision for the future of our cities in Cambodia!  

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