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China giant looks to Cambodia

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A worker collects rubber latex in a state rubber plantation in Deli Serdang, Indonesia’s North Sumatra province on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters

Shandong Shantui, a Chinese firm and one of the largest manufacturers of heavy construction machinery and largest producer of bulldozers has expressed an interest in investing in Cambodia’s agricultural sectors.

General Manager Cheng Zhaohong met with Cambodia’s National Assembly President Heng Samrin yesterday morning to present the company’s interests to the government, Kaom Kosal, adviser to Heng Samrin said.

“They are planning to visit the Anlung Chrey Development Zone in Kampong Cham province to seek any investment opportunities in rice farming and rubber plantations to buoy their farm machinery sales and operations in Cambodia,” he said.

Cheng said the firm’s decision to expand its business to Cambodia is a result of the room for growth it sees in the construction and agriculture sectors.

Samrin said that the presence of Shantui Company in Cambodia reflected Chinese investors’ trust in Cambodia’s political stability and favourable business environment, while highlighting China’s continual interest in the Southeast Asia region.

“The firm’s presence will help further enhance trade and investment ties between Cambodia and China,” he said, pledging to provide support to enable Shantui to operate here successfully.

The firm’s commitment to expanding their business in Cambodia after many local banks, including the Bank of China in Phnom Penh, announced a plan to expand the amount of business conducted in yuan between Cambodia and China.

Both governments pledged to more than double bilateral trade, increasing it from US$2.5 billion at the end of 2011, according to data from the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh, to $7 billion by 2015.

Cambodia’s exports to China were worth $184 million for 2011, up 97 per cent compared to 2010. Chinese imports to Cambodia reached $2.31 billion, up 71.8 per cent for the same period.

According to a report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia from 1994 to 2011, Cambodia has received a total investment from China of $8.91 billion, making it the largest foreign investor.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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