Published On: Wed, Jan 6th, 2010

Investing in Cambodia

Vietnam’s investment projects in Cambodia rose quickly in both size and number from 2006. Vietnam currently operates 63 projects in Cambodia with a total investment capital of more than US$900 million, averaging US$14.2 million/project. Cambodia ranks third in attracting Vietnamese investment capital. In Cambodia, Vietnamese businesses mainly operate in mineral, oil and gas exploration and attraction; power production and trading; rubber growing, transport infrastructure development, banking and insurance.

Investing in Cambodia

A number of multi-million US dollar Vietnamese investment projects got underway in Cambodia in 2009 alone. There were a telecommunications project of the Military Telecommunications Corporation (Viettel) costing US$150 million (initially US$27 million), a project on establishing the Cambodia Investment and Development Joint Stock Company of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Phuong Nam Company valued at US$100 million, a Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group project on rubber growing capitalized US$73 million and a project on a fertilizer plant construction of Nam Sao Company valued at US$65 million, just to date a few.
The two governments have made constant efforts to simplify licensing and investment procedures. In the meantime, both sides have adopted a series of measures to improve the legal system pertaining to investment, production infrastructure, and human resource quality in an effort to ameliorate the investment and business environment to facilitate the operation of businesses in the two countries. This is a favorable start for establishing a regular dialogue mechanism between businesses in the two countries, as well as between Cambodia Development Council and the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said confidently “A new wave of Vietnamese companies going to invest in Cambodia will appear in the near future thanks to a close cooperation between Vietnamese and Cambodian state organizations, bringing the bilateral economic cooperation to a new high.”
Many economists and Vietnamese companies share the same view that Cambodia is a great place to invest for a number of reasons: Political stability; a huge market with over 10 million population; geographical similarities as the two countries share the borderline and the waterways (the passage of Mekong River); the proximity of Tan Son Nhat Airport and Phnom Penh Airport. In addition, Cambodian government has incentive policies to attract foreign investors, particularly those coming Vietnam. Analysts also view Cambodia as a nation with young and quality workforce.
One of the largest hindrances to investors in Cambodia is low infrastructure quality. To remedy the situation, the Cambodian government has spent a considerable amount on improving its transport network, producing more power and building new seaports and airports. Besides, Cambodia also allows both local and foreign investors to establish wholly owned businesses in sensitive fields such as banking, insurance and telecommunications.
To create a safe legal corridor for businesses in the two countries, the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam is committed to foster cooperation with Cambodia Development Council. Besides, the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment wants that businesses in the two countries seek support from these two state bodies whenever they face difficulties in doing business. /.
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