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Thai businesses urged to invest

COMMERCE Minister Cham Prasidh urged Thai businesses to invest in Cambodia’s processing industry at a meeting between Thai and Cambodian officials on Friday.

Cham Prasidh highlighted the Kingdom’s zero to low tariffs on exports to the European Union in his meeting with the Thai vice-chairman of the third Commission of the National Assembly of Thailand at Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

“If Thai’s investors come to invest in processing plants for our agricultural products exporting to EU’s market, you don’t need to pay tax,” he said.

“However, if you produce the same products in your country, you have to pay taxes between 7 [percent] and 30 percent.”

He said Thai businesses mostly buy paddy rice or other unprocessed agricultural products from Cambodia and process it in Thailand before exporting to the EU.

The Minister said these businesses stood to lose around €150 (US$196.7) per tonne on export tax.

“If you do business which loses €150 per tonne like this, why don’t you come to invest here to export with duty-free? You would gain more profit than if you did the same business in Thailand,” he said.

Ai Khan, vice-chairman of the 3rd Commission and MP, said he welcomed the idea and would pass it on to Thai investors.

“I will try my best to promote more investment and I will inform my people about that,” said the vice chairman.

“I hope that we will continue enhancing our relation for the benefit of people and economic, investment, tourism, political, and education ties.”

Cham Prasidh said the government was now seeking funds from foreign donors to help improve irrigation systems to boost agricultural production.

He said he was looking forward to the first ever Cambodia-Thai Business Forum which will be hosted in Phnom Penh in February “to strengthen and improve the economic and investment cooperation among the two countries”.

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