“Cambodia has great potential in many sectors and it has opened its economy to all investors and treats both local and foreign investors equally,” Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen said Monday.
“We have opened our economy for foreign direct investments in all sectors including banking, insurance, and telecommunications when in many countries, in such sectors, foreign investors are not allowed to control 100% of the shareholding, without local participation requirement,” the Cambodian premier told a Cambodia-Malaysia Business Forum held here on May 10.
Cambodia has great potential in several important sectors such as agriculture, agro-industry, infrastructure, labor intensive industries, export oriented industries, oil and gas, mining and tourism, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, stressing that these sectors have not been fully capitalized and still offer many investment opportunities.
“In that context, I wish to invite the Malaysian businessmen who have not yet visited Cambodia to come for fact findings, to explore investment opportunities, to meet and discuss with the Cambodian business community looking for partnership, to join hands together to ensure the success of their ventures,” he added.
“The path Cambodia’s economy is taking is not different from the one Malaysia’s economy and investors used to move on previously in Malaysia. Thus, I believe that experienced Malaysian investors can seize successfully the many investment opportunities still available here as have already done so among others, Tan Sri Dr. Chen Lip Keong for Naga World, AXIATA in telecommunications, Cambodia Utilities in power generation or CAMBREW-Angkor Beer,” he said. “On this auspicious occasion, I am pleased to inform the forum of a recent encouraging news: on May 6, 2010, the National Bank of Cambodia has issued a Letter of Approval in Principle for the establishment and operation of the CIMB (Cambodia) PLC Bank, a subsidiary of CIMB Bank Berhad of Malaysia. I warmly welcome this new investment and wish CIMB (Cambodia) many successes in its operation in the future.”
The Cambodian premier warmly welcomed the visit of the Malaysian prime minister, saying it reflects Malaysia’s attention on the friendship and close cooperation between the two countries. “The presence of Your Excellency Prime Minister and of all the Malaysian delegates and business community representatives will add a new dimension to Cambodia’s socio-economic development effort, through the expansion and strengthening of both countries’ cooperation in the field of politics, security, economy, social affairs, and culture. In this context, we are pleased to see the continuous progress of our friendship and cooperation,” he said.
For his pat, the Malaysian premier, Dato’ Sri Mohamad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, who co-chaired the forum, said Malaysia has been the biggest investor in Cambodia for 14 consecutive years with investments totaling US$2.19 billion. Cumulative Malaysian investments in Cambodia during the past two years totaled US$118 million.
Anyway, he called on both sides to broaden the number of goods traded between the two nations. “Currently, our trade base is very narrow, confined to a few products on both sides. Malaysia’s main exports to Cambodia include chemical products, machinery, appliances and electrical products, while we import mostly textiles, clothing, raw rubber, and logs from Cambodia. “I believe that there is still an opportunity to expand the scope of products and services that can be traded between our two countries,” he said.