(L to R) Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hold hands during the opening ceremony of the 21st ASEAN and East Asia summits in Phnom Penh, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as the 2012 ASEAN chair, has called for investors within the ASEAN member states as well as around the globe to invest in Cambodia in various sectors, particularly agriculture, food processing and manufacturing.
The premier made the appeal on Saturday during the second day of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summits in Phnom Penh, in which more than 900 business people, ASEAN delegates and economists participated.
He said Cambodia has the most open economic policy, compared to others in the region, by allowing investors some tax incentives and the ability to enjoy free capital flow.
“Since 1993 Cambodia has tried to set up an investment climate which is the most open in the region by providing tax incentives for both local and foreign investors in order to open its markets,” he said.
Cambodia’s minister of commerce Cham Prasidh said that over the course of two days there would be a business-to-business dialogue, a governments-to-business dialogue and an international organisations and governments to business dialogue alongside the 21st ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh.
“The business summit will certainly add a significant dimension to the ASEAN summit as it will provide a platform for leaders and ministers to directly engage with business leaders, and for business leaders to be better informed about the policy agenda and to profile their interests,” he said.
Kith Meng, president of Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce and chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in 2012, said this is the right time for businesses to explore Cambodia, a country of pro-business policy and economic stability.
“The business summit aims to promote private sector growth in one of the most prosperous regions of the world as well as realise the dream of an ASEAN economic community by 2015,” he said.
Kith Meng said ASEAN sits at the very heart of Asia. If ASEAN were a single country, it would be the world’s ninth largest economy, with close to 10 per cent of the world’s population and a GDP $1.9 trillion.
“ASEAN is both a market for the developed world’s products and the location of their production facilities,” he said.
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