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Business unruffled

FOREIGN businessmen operating in Cambodia seem to agree that the recent Cabinet reshuffle is a good thing for the country in that it will increase political stability and encourage additional foreign investment, according to an informal Post survey.

While investors interviewed conceded that there will be less transparency in the conduct of governmental affairs, everyone queried about the recent shake-up said the trade off was worth it.

"I think this particular move will increase political stability," said Jules Thomas, managing director of IMIC, Cambodia's only marketing and investment advisory firm, about the firing of Finance Minister Sam Rainsy.

"Giving Keat Chhon the finance portfolio is a very sensible move," said Thomas.

"He is one of the few ministers who can cross political lines and get the job done. He is well respected both in Cambodia and internationally and he is forward thinking."

Thomas added that the reshuffle "will enable the government to put forward one voice on investment and finance rather than this political infighting which is a waste of time."

Representatives from three European-based multi-national firms echoed similar sentiments.

Although declining to be named, one managing director of a firm with a multi-million dollar investment in Cambodia said Keat Chhon was "politically astute and technically able."

He saw "no reason why the reshuffle should change investors confidence."

With regard to Rainsy, he said, "I believe the man was a bit politically naive, unfortunately."

Another major investor when asked if he was happy with the reshuffle said, "Of course, how could I not be?"

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