Friday, November 27, 2009

Cambodian and Chinese Businessmen Discuss Investment Project


Approximately 53 businessmen from Hong Kong and Macau met with 47 Cambodian businessmen at a seminar on November 16 in Phnom Penh in search of investments and business opportunities in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The Chinese and Cambodian Business and Investment Seminar was co-organized by the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and supported by the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Cambodia.

Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce, said in his opening remarks that the government has attached great importance to developing close friendships in the international community and that China is one of Cambodia’s closest friends.

The relationship between Cambodia and China has been building comprehensively through much cooperation in relation to the economy, trade and investment, said Sorasak. He added that the Royal Government of Cambodia receives preferential tariff treatment on 418 products, as granted by the Chinese government to Cambodia.

The Secretary of State also mentioned that in recent years, Cambodian-Chinese cooperation in trade, investment and project outsourcing was further broadened. In 2008, the bilateral trade volume reached US$794 million between the two countries. The total number of projects contracted out to Chinese companies increased to 16 with contracts totaling US$300 million.

Currently, experienced and capable Chinese enterprises are taking an active part in the hydroelectric development and road bridge constructions, which will play a very important role in Cambodian economic development, said Sorasak. He added that the Chinese government agreed to recognize the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Cambodia, as Chinese tourist destinations and recalled that in recent years, more and more Chinese citizens, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have come to Cambodia creating a large influx of foreign spending and increased employment opportunity.

“As Cambodia and China’s economies are highly complementary, there is great potential for the two countries in economic and trade cooperation. Cambodia is rich in water power, mineral products and land resources, while China is well-advantaged in capital, technology and management experience,” he said. “If the two countries keep working together to push the economic and trade cooperation on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, focusing on efficiency, exploring all kinds of cooperation and seeking cooperation, the people of the two countries will definitely continue to benefit from our endeavors.”

Kith Meng, Chairman of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said Cambodia and China have share a rich history dating back thousands of years, though diplomatic relations only started in 1958. He said that China and Cambodia are main partners of comprehensive cooperation, supporting each other in bilateral and multilateral fields.

“We cherish this friendship and cooperation with China, and we attach great importance to this relationship and will work more closely with our counterpart to explore greater potential and to achieve reciprocal and win-win results,” he said. “In recent years, we have witnessed economic and trade cooperation and bilateral trade agreements signed by both countries. As a result, the volume of the bilateral trade in 2007-2008 between China and Cambodia reached US$ 794 million. China is the largest investor in Cambodia in the past 15 years, with total investments of over US$6 billion.”

Relating to investment and business opportunities in Cambodia, Meng said there is potential for sustainable development and investment. Cambodia’s advantages and potential for investment include agriculture, labor intensive industries, processing, tourism, mining, natural resources, cheap labor forces, infrastructures and constructions, historical heritage, and beautiful sceneries of the sea, mountains and forests.

“Cambodia is rapidly changing along with its society and shows enormous room for growth and opportunities for successful investments. Furthermore, efforts are being made to create an environment to attract and foster quality foreign investment like China to focus on our fast-growing high-value-added sectors,” he said. “Nevertheless, we still get insufficient notice from investors and thus forums like this are great stepping stones to increasing awareness of great opportunities and knowledge,” he added.

Yu Ping, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said that many Chinese investors and businesspeople wanted to come to begin their business in Cambodia because Cambodia has a lot of potential and natural sources for investment and trade. He added that it now also has peace and political stability and due to this political stability, friendship and good cooperation, many Chinese investors and Chinese businesspeople will come to do their businesses in Cambodia in the future.

“China and Cambodia will continue to increase and improve their relationship and cooperation on investment and trading in future,” he said. “I hope that with the closest friendship and good cooperation between the two countries, more Chinese investors and businesspeople will come to begin their investments and businesses in Cambodia in the near future.”

The Vice Chairman continued to say that, so far, many Chinese investors have been coming to do their business in Cambodia. Most of Chinese business focuses on road and bridge construction, agriculture, hydroelectricity, garment industries and other private sectors in order to develop and reduce poverty in Cambodia. ///

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