THE Council for the Development of Cambodia approved US$300 million worth of investments in July, nearly double its total investments approved in June, according to a CDC report obtained yesterday.
Fifteen large investment projects were given the green light, with 10 projects worth $278 million approved in the agricultural sector, and another five investments worth $20 million rubber-stamped for the industrial sector.
The government approved 63 investment projects worth $1.377 billion in the first seven months of the year, whereas an equal number of projects worth $1.473 billion were granted the go-ahead during the first seven months of 2009, figures show.
The CDC approved investment by 13 companies from eight countries during July, according to its report, and cleared four Chinese companies to launch investment projects in the Kingdom.
Sugarcane attracted particularly large investment, with China’s Yellow Field International Limited and Great Field International planning to invest $74.6 million and $66.4 million respectively to grow sugarcane and other crops.
Meanwhile, United States-based Horizon Agriculture Development Co and Singapore and Malaysia’s Mondul Agri Resources Company plan to invest $28.8 million and $30 million respectively to grow rubber trees.
However, former Asian Development Bank senior country economist Eric Sidgwick warned that it was important to focus on the overall trend with regard to the CDC’s investment figures, as they tend to vary from month to month.
“Investments in a small economy like Cambodia are lumpy, and figures for one month do not necessarily entail any change in the underlying trend,” he said earlier this year.
CDC Deputy Secretary General Duy Thov said an increasing number of foreign companies were interested in investing in Cambodia’s agricultural and product-processing sectors.