Government officials have joined forces with Japanese experts to formulate a new plan for economic diversity in Cambodia.
Foreign direct investment in Cambodian industry has largely gone to garment manufacturing during the past 10 years, putting the country at risk of economic shock in the event of continued financial crisis in the West.
Cambodia’s Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) and the Japan International Co-operation Agency hosted a seminar yesterday on the establishment of new policies that could help the country attract investment in other forms of industy.
Echoing International Monetary Fund and World Bank calls for diversification, Hang Chuon Naron, secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said yesterday industrial policies should look to new sectors such as electronic-device production and information technology.
Although a new policy on attracting investment has not been drafted yet, Mey Kalyan, a senior adviser to SNEC, said it would be second in importance only to the Kingdom’s ambitious rice policy, which called for a million tonnes of milled-rice exports by 2015.
“We want to step beyond agriculture to industry. The reason we go this way is because value-added [industries] are worth more than agriculture.”
Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia data shows Cambodia shipped about US$3.3 billion in garments in 2011, the vast majority of the country’s exports.
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