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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China firm proposes $6.5bn deal

China firm proposes $6.5bn deal

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Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, Pan Guangxue, with Prime Minister Hun Sen. Photograph: Vireak Mai/ Phnom Penh Post

Chinese firms have huge ambitions for Cambodia, with a second firm this week proposing three projects worth an estimated US$6.5 billion to the National Assembly yesterday, but no deadlines were set for the implementation of the projects, according to officials.

Pan Xiaoping, chairman of Ruijin Investment Holding Ltd, based in  the Chinese province of Hainan, yesterday met with the president of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin, to seek the support for his company’s investment projects, said Kaom Kosal, cabinet director for the National Assembly.

The announcement comes after Shangdong Shuitai, a major farm machinery manufacturer from China, spoke with the National Assembly on Monday about investing in the Kingdom’s agriculture sector.

Earlier this year Chinese food company Hainan Agpro Inc announced its intentions to spend $500 million in Cambodia’s agriculture, it was reported.

“They (Ruijin Investment Holding Ltd) came with the intention to invest in Cambodia in three sectors – agriculture, tourism and infrastructure,” Koam said.

The first project is a rice plantation worth approximately $400 million; the second is a tourism investment project called Sihanouk-Hainan City, a resort and associated infrastructure worth a reported $5.8 billion; and the third project is focused on animal husbandry, namely cows, and is worth an estimated $300 million.

All three projects would last 10 years, he said, and come on the heels of China and Cambodia signing a $2.5 billion bilateral trade deal at the end of 2011 that aims to reach $7 billion by 2015, according to the Chinese Embassy.  

Koam reported that at the meeting Pan Xiaoping described  Ruijin’s plans to open an office in Cambodia with the cooperation of RAT Sokhorn Inc Co Ltd.

In an effort to avoid land disputes the development of Sihanouk-Hainan City would only be done on land specifically purchased for the project, Koam said, but did not elaborate on what guarantees this would bring.

Chea Chantevy, assistant to Rat Sokhorn, president of Rat Sokhorn Incorporation Co said it was too early to reveal the details of the projects as it was only the first meeting between both companies and Cambodian government officials.

“We cannot disclose the project details right now, but Rat Sokhorn is working in conjunction with Ruijin Investment in order to invest in the agriculture and tourism sectors,” she said.

Agpro plans to conduct feasibility studies in a number of provinces, including Koh Kong and Preak Vihear, with the $500 million investment spread out over 10 years, while Shangtui aims to invest in rice and rubber plantations.

Ruijin Investment Holding Ltd has a sparse web presence in Chinese-language media, though Xinhua, the Chinese news organ, has reported on the meeting as well.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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