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Local firms encouraged to boost investment in Cambodia
By Viet Dung
Saturday,  Nov 23, 2019,16:24 (GMT+7)

Local firms encouraged to boost investment in Cambodia

By Viet Dung

Representatives participate in the seminar on Vietnam-Cambodia cooperation. Cambodia is calling for investments and creating more favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to develop projects in the neighboring country – PHOTO: TGB

HCMC – The number of projects developed by Vietnamese investors in Cambodia remains low, with only 200 worth some US$3 billion, so officials seek to foster investment into projects in Cambodia by offering improved conditions, such as low land rental fees and simplified investment procedures, heard a seminar on November 22.

At the seminar, entitled “Vietnam-Cambodia cooperation in the new ASEAN context,” experts, officials and entrepreneurs discussed measures and opportunities to tap into the Cambodian market, along with trends for development in the two countries.

Addressing the event, co-organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (VCCI’s) Can Tho City branch and the Tien Giang Business Club in HCMC (TGB), Oknha Leng Rithy, a high-ranking advisor to the Cambodian deputy prime minister, said that the country’s political situation remains stable.

This is a “golden” opportunity for Vietnamese firms to enter the Cambodian market, he said.

Low land rental fees and geographical proximity are among the advantages for Vietnamese investors to conduct business in Cambodia, he added.

Cambodian Consul General to HCMC Sok Dareth said that Cambodia is calling for investments and creating more favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to develop projects in the neighboring country.

The free trade agreements signed by Vietnam and Cambodia have boosted economic cooperation between the two countries, Dareth noted, adding that the target of the two-way trade to reach US$5 billion for 2020 has been fulfilled this year.

In 2018, some 800,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia, and the country looks to welcome one million Vietnamese tourist arrivals in 2019, Dareth said.

Also, Cambodia is considering issuing special policies to ease commercial and logistical activities along the two countries’ borders, he said.

The Cambodia-styled border market in Thbong Khnum Province, sponsored by the Vietnamese Government, is scheduled to begin operating in late 2019.

Speaking at the seminar, many representatives in Vietnam saw multiple opportunities for firms from both countries to cooperate and contribute to the economic growth.

Nguyen Phuong Lam, director at VCCI Can Tho, said Vietnamese firms can seek partners to develop projects in a host of potential fields in Cambodia, including renewable energy, payment services, mechanical engineering and breeding canaries.

Additionally, the economy is suitable for small and medium enterprises with limited capital to invest in Cambodia, Lam said.

“It is necessary to focus on some sectors, which are the two countries’ strengths to make investments, such as the agricultural field,” Lam said.

Vietnam is developing the agricultural sector toward hi-tech applications, but land for projects is restricted, whereas the land for hi-tech agricultural projects in Cambodia remains diverse, he said.

As such, cooperation between the two countries, with Vietnam’s technologies and Cambodia’s land funds and manpower, is expected to gain ground.

“Caravan – A Journey Connecting Vietnamese and Cambodian Businessmen” is to take place between December 5 and 8 in Cambodia, bringing together a large number of provincial and city officials and businesses from the two countries. The event is aimed at networking firms, promoting business operations and introducing the cultural values of the two countries.

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