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British investors eye Cambodia investment

The real estate sector was the major focus for a recent British delegation of business leaders

BRITISH investors are eager to get a slice of Cambodia's booming real estate sector with multiple delegations of businessmen arriving to scout out local partners in anticipation of expanding trade ties.

According to the chairman of the British Business Association of Cambodia (BBAC) Senaka Fernando, the most recent delegation to arrive was eyeing the energy, agro-industry, trade and real estate sectors.

They were particularly interested in Cambodia's skyrocketing real estate sector, where land values have risen 1.5 times in a year, Fernando told the Post Wednesday.

Brits abroad

Cambodia has attracted substantial British investments since 1995, and the BBAC currently has 77 members, Fernando said. No exact figures on British investment in Cambodia could be obtained.

"Investors from any foreign country can come to Cambodia and invest confidently and without restrictions," he said.

"More foreign companies should consider investments here because of our rich natural resources and the availability of a low-cost labour force," Fernando said.

Representatives for the CDC could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Ex Seng, a lecturer at Cambodia Mekong University, said a conference on the trade and investment climate in Cambodia last month attracted more than 40 Cambodian and British business representatives.

"We want to enlarge our relationship with British investors because we have so few of their businesses in the country so far," Ex Seng said.

"As we found at the conference, they are looking for local partners and evaluating investment potential."

Ex Seng said a partnership between the Mong Reththy Group and a British pig breeder, announced last month, shows the potential for creative developmental partnerships.

"We are proud of our country, and we have many Western investors with large-scale and long-term investments who feel the same about emerging investment opportunities," Ex Seng said. He added that British investment representatives expressed growing interest in future partnerships during last month's conference, and they expect to return to Cambodia later in the year to study the agribusiness sector.

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