T he first ever delegation of Canadian businessmen visited Phnom Penh from Jan.
13 to 22 to explore investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
nine-member trade mission included representatives of both public and private
sector enterprises from the Canadian province of Quebec.
The trip was
organized by Mr. Tep Rithivit, who was recently appointed Economic Advisor to
the First Prime Minister in charge of commercial relations between Cambodia and
Hydro Quebec International was one of the largest firms
represented in the delegation, with Canadian-based revenues generating more that
U.S. $6 billion per year.
Simon Ouimet, Hydro Quebec's commercial
director, told the Post that the firm was "looking to supply (power)
distribution and generator systems for Phnom Penh." Ouimet said that they could
also provide management and technical assistance to public utilities, advise on
financing arrangements and structure privatization programs.
that there were numerous opportunities for power-related investment in Cambodia
but that next steps would depend on the outcome of the upcoming Tokyo aid
conference. He noted that Cambodia maintains an enormous potential for the
development of hydropower and could one day export electricity to neighboring
countries as a means of earning foreign exchange.
Other firms represented
in the investment mission included the Trenta Medical Group, E.T.I. Logistique,
Pomerleau Construction International, New Brunswick Telephone, the Economic
Development Company of Drummond-ville, Marine Switch Gear, and J.M.C.
With most of the companies coming from the French-speaking
part of Canada, Ouimet commented that "we can bring, in French, North American
technology and the North American (management) point of view to Francophone
countries around the world."
He added, in English, that the reception in
Cambodia had been