Cambodia offers plenty of opportunity for Vietnamese investors, though challenges such as high transportation costs and a shortage of skilled labour remain, experts said yesterday.
Represents of about 100 Vietnamese firms met with Cambodian counterparts yesterday for a one-day Oversea Entrepreneur Forum in Phnom Penh, organised by the Vietnamese embassy, said Vietnam commercial attaché Tran Tu.
“I think Cambodia is making improvements to infrastructure, but it could be developed more as the cost of transportation is higher than Vietnam,” he said.
Increased intra-ASEAN linkages also stood to improve the human resources situation, he added.
Vietnam Rubber Group President Leng Rithy said that further cooperation among government officials could also benefit the economy.
“Lower-ranking officials should pay more attention to the country’s development rather than their own,” he said.
Vietnam Rubber Group operations in Cambodia comprise of 17 companies with 100,000 hectares of concession land, and aims to invest millionsof dollars in rubber plantations.
Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Danh Vinh said the two countries had signed a number of important agreements facilitating trade.
“Now there is a good and favourable environment for entrepreneurs from both side to seize the chance to strengthen investment and trade activities,” he said at yesterday’s event.
Tran Tu said that over 200 companies from neighbouting Vietnam are presently operating in the Kingdom.
University of Cambodia Business and Economics lecturer Chheng Kimlong said the government had done plenty of work upgrading connectivity at international border points in order to reduce unnecessary payments.
The total direct investment from Vietnam to Cambodia rose by 87 to $156 million in the first half of the year a jump from $83 million for the period in 2010, according data from CDC. Bilateral trade increased by 57 percent in the period to $1.351 billion, figures from the Vietnam trade office in Phnom Penh show.