Cambodia’s Royal Group is negotiating to purchase a satellite from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation for its telecoms operations, according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, accompanied by Royal Group of Companies president Kith Meng, had visited the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation during his official visit to China, Cham Prasidh told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport on the premier’s return from Beijing.
“Kith Meng is in talks with the Chinese firm to buy a satellite that could cost between US$300 million and US$400 million,” he said, adding that the satellite could be used for about 15 years.
Royal Group owns the Kingdom’s largest mobile phone operator, Mobitel.
Currently, Cambodia uses satellites that are operated by neighbouring countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.
Agreements covering $500 million in soft loans and $48 million in grants had been signed during Hun Sen’s visit to China over the weekend, Cham Prasidh told a briefing yesterday.
“This is a big number, as Hun Sen has said, and will be used to improve infrastructure,” Cham Prasidh said, adding that it would help build 400 kilometres of roads a year over several years.
In April, 2011, the Royal Group received a concess-ion to launch Cambodia’s first satellite, creating what the company sees as another integral step forward for the ASEAN economy.
Cambodian Satellite 1 was set to launch in the first quarter of 2013, the Post reported at the time.
Additional reporting by reuters