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Officials pitch invesment from Thais

Cambodia's top economy builders are looking to bring back Thai investment that has departed the country since the onset of political clashes involving Preah Vihear temple in northern Cambodia.

Officials at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) yesterday hosted 30 delegates from the Thai government in a bid boost the neighbour’s investment in rice processing and tourism.

“Thailand is very experienced in the agricultural sector and tourism industry. I think they should come to invest more in Cambodia. We have huge potential,” Kong Vibol, secretary of state for the Ministry of Economy and Finance and vice chairman at the Council for Development of Cambodia, told the delegates.

The Thai group looked to report back to businesses on Cambodia’s investment policy and climate, Hirunya Suchinai, senior executive investment advisor to Thailand’s Board of Investment, said on the sidelines of the meeting.

Cham Prasidh, minister of commerce, said Cambodia’s duty-free and quota-free treatment from Europe was an incentive to produce in the country.

“If Thailand exports to Europe [from Thailand], they have to pay US$250 [in duties] per ton of fragrant milled rice,” he said.

Investment and tourist from Thailand is returning to the country.

According to data from the CDC, total approved investment from Thailand was $745 million in 2011 compare to just $2 million in 2010. Data from the Ministry of Tourism showed that tourist from Thailand increased by 88.8 per cent in the first five month compared to the same time last year.

In the past, Thai investment had dominated some sectors, Kong Vibol said. Chinese and Vietnamese investors have since overcome Thai investors.

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

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